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Are You A Good Candidate For Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you’re struggling to sleep at night because you can’t pay your debts, you’ve likely tried everything that you can to cut costs and earn more income. If your efforts aren’t paying off to the extent that you need them to, it’s probably time to evaluate various debt management and debt relief options.

Filing for bankruptcy is only one debt management/debt relief option available to you. This opportunity isn’t the best option for all circumstances and isn’t the right course for everyone. Yet, there are good reasons why – every single year – millions of Americans choose to file for bankruptcy. If you’re a good candidate for this opportunity, it is certainly an option worth considering.

What Filing for Bankruptcy Entails

As an experienced Chicago Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer – including those who practice at Therman Law Offices, LTD. – can explain in greater detail, there are two primary bankruptcy relief options for individuals and families: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is only available to filers who don’t earn much income. This form of bankruptcy relief allows filers to have their qualifying debts – credit card balances, medical bills, and other eligible unsecured debts – eliminated without any requirement that they repay their creditors.

Some people are scared to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief because they’ve heard that they’ll lose all their property in the process. This just isn’t true. Almost all non-luxury property is exempt from being sold by a Chapter 7 trustee. Put another way, unless you own a lot of luxury property, your risk of losing your property in a Chapter 7 case is very low.

By contrast, Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief is available to just about anyone, provided that they have a relatively steady income. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, a debtor enters into a very workable repayment plan that lasts for 3-5 years. If they make their payments as promised, their remaining eligible debt balances will be forgiven when their case is closed.

Non-Bankruptcy Debt Management Alternatives

It is worth repeating that not everyone who struggles with debt should file for bankruptcy. Under certain circumstances, it’s preferable to take a different approach to debt management. Only you know your finances well enough to make that call.

For example, if you’re struggling with a single debt – like your mortgage or your auto loan – either requesting a loan modification or refinancing your debt may make the most sense. If your primary issue has been racking up late fees, you might want to look into a resource referred to as a debt management plan. These are just two examples of non-bankruptcy options that make sense under specific circumstances.

At the end of the day, it’s most important to remember that there are debt management and debt relief options available to you. It can be easy to fall into genuine despair when debt becomes unmanageable. Seek assistance instead. It’s available and it exists because no one should ever have to live a life of anguish simply because they can’t pay their bills.