“I had student loans, car payments, a mortgage, small business loans, and credit card debt. When I lost my job, it was all I could do to pay for groceries, but the creditors started calling and emailing sometimes multiple times a day. It was so overwhelming, and I had no idea what to do to get out from under it all. Then one of my friends mentioned filing for bankruptcy. At first, the idea was frightening, but the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if bankruptcy was the right choice for me.” – Anonymous
Filing Bankruptcy does not mean you’re a bad person
Sometimes the first obstacle we have to overcome is the sense that filing bankruptcy is only for people who abuse the system. This is simply not the case. More often than not, those filing either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy are good, honest, hardworking people who are simply facing a challenging time with their finances. Filing for bankruptcy can mean that you are doing the best you can with an unfortunate situation to repay your debt. There is no need to feel guilty for the situation you are in or for considering bankruptcy as an option.
Financial signs to Consider
There are many varying factors that can indicate bankruptcy may be right for you. The best way to know for sure is to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
There are, however, some key indicators that you can look for.
- Unable to pay basic monthly bills.
- Taking out cash advances, title interest loans, pawn shop or other high interest loans, especially to pay off other loans. Do you know that a pawn shop will charge you over 150% interest?
- Unable to make, or just making minimum payments on credit card debt.
- Major loss of income – Layoff, divorce, health issues. Any of these can lead to a significant loss of income that can put you in financial hardship.
- Tax debt. Unpaid income taxes may be paid in a bankruptcy without interest. Normally interest and penalties on unpaid income taxes are stopped when you file. The late-payment penalty is 0.5% of the tax owed for each month or part of a month that the tax remains unpaid after the due date, up to 25%. Interest is 5% per year that can’t be paid off in 12-14 months.
- Unable to catch up on vehicle payments.
- One or more months behind on mortgage.
- Notices of foreclosure and/or repossession of home or car.
- Losing sleep or suffering from anxiety over your debt.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg. There are any number of situations and indications that bankruptcy lawyers will use to gauge whether your situation might require bankruptcy. The attorneys at The Hall have prepared a 60 Second Online Quiz to help you determine if bankruptcy can help relieve your debt.
When to Call a Bankruptcy Attorney
The best time to call an attorney is before you’ve reached the point of foreclosure or repossession. There is no need to suffer under the weight of overwhelming debt and constant harassment from creditors. So often, individuals wait until their debt is so overwhelming that they are about to lose their home. While bankruptcy doesn’t wipe the slate clean with your debts, it can help you get your finances back under control so that you and your family can begin to live again. A qualified bankruptcy lawyer will be able to guide you whether you should file Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 and when to file. If you are still employed, one thing to note is that sometimes annual bonuses or commissions can affect an individual’s eligibility to file. If you have questions, the bankruptcy team at The Hall can help you understand what the best choices for you.
Situations like divorce, loss of income, extensive medical bills each have very distinct aspects that all affect how and when a bankruptcy filing should happen. Speak to a bankruptcy attorney if you are going through any of these and are beginning to feel the weight debt affecting your life.
Who Should I Call?
When you are looking for someone to help, look for a bankruptcy attorney with years of experience. You want to work with a bankruptcy lawyer that has worked with individuals like you to help them find peace through a difficult time with finances. If you live in Effingham, Bulloch, Screven, Candler, Evans, Toombs, Jenkins, Bryan, Tattnall or surrounding areas, the attorneys at Hall & Navarro have the experience & compassion you need to help you with your bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy team at Hall & Navarro has been handling bankruptcy cases across southeast Georgia for over 3 decades. Our bankruptcy attorneys, Mike Hall and Paige Boykin have worked closely with people who are in situations very similar to yours. Our team has helped others understand their situation and how they can best address the debt they are under, and work diligently to keep the process as easy as possible. We even offer a Free Bankruptcy Case Evaluation to make sure that we are serving your best interest from the very start.
Do Not Believe the Myths and Misconceptions
There are many myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy. Don’t believe them. Until you have spoken with an attorney, you can never really know if bankruptcy is right for you. Call the attorneys at Hall & Navarro , and let us help you work through these problems. Financial peace is not out of your reach.
Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation. This site and its information is not official legal advice, nor is it intended to be. Feel free to get in touch by e-mail, letters or phone calls. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Until an attorney-client relationship is established, please withhold from sending any confidential information to us.