[COLUMN] Leave debt problems behind as you begin the new year 2023

Are you struggling with debt problems and don’t know what to do?  Are you doing your best to pay but simply can’t?  Have you thought of filing bankruptcy but are afraid that this might not be the right solution to your problems?

Filing bankruptcy is a personal decision that should be taken seriously. Whether or not it is necessary for you to file will depend on the amount of your debts and your ability to meet your financial obligations as they come due.  Technically, you are already deemed bankrupt or insolvent under the law when you are unable to pay your ongoing debt obligations and/or if your total liabilities exceed your total assets. Thus, before you even file, you are most likely already “bankrupt” within the definition of the word. What you need to do is to “declare” bankruptcy by filing a court petition to get you the relief that you need.  Relief means getting your debts wiped out as in Chapter 7 bankruptcy or getting your debts consolidated into a lower payment as in Chapter 13.

Being harassed by creditors can be nerve-wracking for a lot of people. This can cause a lot of sleepless nights, worry and stress. Sometimes, marriages fall apart, and business relationships are broken. A fresh start may be all that you need to start all over again and rebuild your credit. After all, life is not perfect and most of us, at one time or another, will face a financial crisis that is beyond our ability to control. Filing for bankruptcy relief can give you some breathing room so that you can feel human again, and you can stop the creditors beating on your door.  There is nothing shameful about it.  It is a remedy provided by law to honest debtors who need a break so they can start a new life. Isn’t this what you need- start a new life?

The decision as to whether and when to file a bankruptcy petition must be based on your individual situation.  Sometimes there are several strategies for handling debt that can help you avoid filing bankruptcy at all.  For example, creditors may be willing to settle or compromise or work out some type of payment arrangement.  If you are in foreclosure, the lender may be willing to modify your loan or give you a repayment plan so you can catch up on the delinquent payments and bring your account current.  If you are snowed under by credit card debt, credit card companies may temporarily reduce your payments and waive late payment penalties.

You can’t bury your head in the sand and pretend that your debt problems don’t exist because sooner or later, you will need to face your creditors.  So, what you need to do is to become more pro-active and find out what your options are before things go from bad to worse.  In finding a solution, beware of so-called “debt consolidation or debt settlement” companies who promise to help you pay your debts without explaining to you in detail how their program works and the fact that you may be sued directly by creditors if the debts are not worked out or settled before legal action is taken.  A lot of people who come to me for help have tried some of these programs and they tell me that they had no idea what they were getting into when they signed up and they simply did so because they were desperate.  But instead of making things better, they made their situation worse than when they first started and ended up wasting a lot of time and money.

Should you file for bankruptcy? Is this the best option for you or are there ways to avoid bankruptcy? Let me evaluate your situation at no charge. For a free consultation, call Toll-Free 1-866-477-7772.

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NOTE: Due to pandemic safety concerns, I am offering free consultations BY PHONE to anyone who needs help in dealing with their debt problems.  

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None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation.  Atty. Ray J. Bulaon has successfully helped more than 6,000 clients in getting out of debt. For a free evaluation of your situation, please call his office at TOLL- FREE  1-866-477-7772.

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