There was an article recently in the Daily Press titled ‘The fear of bankruptcy holds too many people back’. We have clients regularly tell us that filing bankruptcy was the best decision they have made as it relieves the stress and helps them manage their financial situation. Many wish they would have filed sooner but let the fear of the unknown stop them. I say it’s like going to the “financial relief doctor”. You rarely walk into your primary care physician to tell him you are having a great day (except for an annual checkup). Walking into our office is the same. Lots of stress led up to making the appointment and it’s not something people look forward to doing. But when they get a plan on how to move forward, they feel relief and get a fresh start.
What is Bankruptcy?
By definition, bankruptcy is the process, protected by the United States Constitution, that allows people or organizations to divest themselves of insurmountable debt. In the words of the US Code, the process is designed to give “the honest but unfortunate debtor a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort.” This is accomplished by discharging certain debts, depending on circumstance, and sometimes assisting the debtor in the reorganization of businesses and repayment of non-dischargeable debts.
What is the first thing you think of when you hear that someone filed bankruptcy? Some think of it as a derogatory word and they feel people who file intentionally mismanaged their money or spent frivolously on credit cards. Rarely is this the case; 95% of the time the debtor had a change in circumstance. Maybe they recently divorced and lost their spouse’s income to pay the bills? Or maybe they were getting overtime and became used to the extra money. Then the over-time stopped, not allowing them to make their monthly payments. We have clients that were in automobile accidents and their medical bills are too much for them to ever pay off.
Bankruptcy is a tool to help people; it is not something to fear. When you are deciding between your mortgage payment/car payment and the light bill. You keep the lights on and your family fed. This can lead to a foreclosure/repossession that we can probably stop. If you call Crawley Law Firm, PA then we can set up a free initial consultation for you to speak with Mr. Crawley on the phone or in-person (because of COVID-19, we are limiting in-person appointments). In most cases, we can stop the foreclosure and repossession and get a new financial plan in place to move forward with a fresh financial start.
Pandemic’s Effect on US Bankruptcy Cases
Surprising to many, bankruptcy cases have dropped significantly in the second quarter of 2020 to about 60% of the past five years’ previous averages. Courthouses closed as we were learning to navigate pandemic life, which made it harder for creditors to pursue wage garnishments and foreclosures. Also, some borrowers have benefited from different coronavirus relief. Federal student loans have suspended payments, and some creditors offer forbearance for mortgages and extended hardship options for loans and credit card accounts. Many of these reliefs may be reaching their deadlines.
Jenny Doling, a bankruptcy attorney in Palm Desert, California, says she is concerned people will wait too long to file. Please reach out to Mr. Crawley if you are considering draining your retirement funds or other assets that may be protected in bankruptcy to pay debts that will ultimately be erased. Putting off bankruptcy can also make it harder to come up with the required fee to file a basic Chapter 7 bankruptcy case (increases based on complexity).
Will I Lose Everything I Own?
No. Most people who file bankruptcy don’t lose their possessions. Every case is unique, but Mr. Crawley will go over all your options during your free initial consultation. Bankruptcy actually helps you protect your assets, including your home and vehicles. Many don’t understand how bankruptcy works and they fear losing their home, car or other property, but most times the bankruptcy process protects it. If you have assets that wouldn’t be protected in a Chapter 7, then in some cases you can file for a Chapter 13 repayment plan instead.
How Will It Affect My Credit Score?
Crawley Law Firm, PA, provides clients with access to an online credit-rebuilding program called 7 Steps to 720 for no charge! This training has a $1,000 value and you get it for FREE. This course will educate you on how to improve your credit within 12 to 24 months after your bankruptcy’s discharge. In addition, this 14-week credit-rebuilding program will teach you things like:
- How to rebuild your credit the right way
- Why most credit scores are wrong
- Which credit cards hurt your credit score
- How to stop lenders that report the wrong information
- How to reestablish your credit after a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or repossession
We not only want to help you with the bankruptcy process, but we also provide tools to rebuild your credit, including ones that allow you to get your credit score back up to 720 (good standing) as soon as possible. A bankruptcy filing can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, but your credit score can recover soon after your discharge. Financial institutions vary, but house and car loans are available around 4 years after discharge.
When Should I Set Up My Free Initial Consultation?
Debt can lead to anxiety and depression which often leads to it being difficult to take action.
Hoping things will get better due to an increase in income or negotiation with creditors is rarely successful. Some clients use debt consolidation companies only to find they are not paying on your debt. It often leads to having a shoebox full of overwhelming bills and possibly lawsuits. Your consultation with Mr. Crawley is free. You literally have nothing to lose and only knowledge of all your options to gain.
Call us today at 870-972-1150