barrysternberg

Am I in Financial Trouble Yet?

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Your finances aren’t going so well. Your feeling that your debt is out of control.  How do you know if you should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer?  Well, there are three tell-tale signs that your financial problems are severe enough to consider bankruptcy.

1.    UNSECURED DEBT GREATER THAN ANNUAL INCOME:  This is a general rule of thumb that may not apply in all situations.  However, if your unsecured debt ( generally credit card, personal loans and medical debt) total more than your annual income, then bankruptcy should at least be considered as a way of getting a fresh start.  Of course, every situation is different.  If you think that there is room to cut back on expenses, you might be able to work your way out of debt over several years, but only if you remain financially disciplined.  You must be prepared to say no when your teenager insists she absolutely needs those $200 shoes that all her friends have.  Working a second job is exhausting, and most people won’t have the energy to sustain a grueling work schedule for very long, so you need to be realistic about what you can do to make extra money.

2.    CONSTANT COLLECTION CALLS: If your finances have gotten to the point where bill collectors are camping out on your front lawn (or at least call you on the phone several times a week, if not daily), then you have definitely lost control over your finances, and you need to get advice from a qualified attorney about whether bankruptcy is the right option. Collection calls mean that your losing ground and need help.  Under the law, collection agents aren’t allowed to harass you, but they can call you on the telephone enough to make your life miserable, and unless you’re the kind of person that easily shrugs off such intrusions, something needs to be done before your situation gets any worse.

3.    LAWSUITS, WAGE GARNISHMENTS, REPOSSESSIONS AND FORECLOSURES: At this point, there’s no sense in denying your financial troubles.  You’ve been delinquent on your debts for quite some time, and your credit is already trashed.  Bankruptcy can only help you from this point, by allowing you to start over, and begin building for the future again. In the case of foreclosure actions, bankruptcy can help you get caught up on past due mortgage payments under the Chapter 13 wage earner plan so that you can keep your home.  There is no reason to continue suffering when the bankruptcy laws give you the opportunity for a second chance.

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