5 Warning Signs That You Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Everyone faces times when money is tight. But sometimes financial circumstances take a turn beyond “money is tight” and into murkier territory. When people face a mountain of debt so high that they cannot expect to repay it within a reasonable timeframe, filing bankruptcy becomes an option. But what is filing for bankruptcy?
Warning Signs: What is Filing for Bankruptcy
Many people know the term filing for bankruptcy without knowing exactly what it means. So what is filing for bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a legal option to discharge or reorganize your debt. That means your debts are wiped clean or reorganized over a new timeframe so that you can repay them. That sounds great, but if it were that easy, wouldn’t everyone file for bankruptcy? Only certain types of debts qualify for bankruptcy, while others (such as child support and student loans) can never be eliminated. And in order for you to be ruled bankrupt, a court must decide that you truly cannot repay your loans. So if the bills are piling up faster than the paychecks are rolling in, how do you know whether or not you should file bankruptcy?
You have experienced a serious financial change.
Whether this is a divorce, death, or unexpected job loss, a major change in income can dramatically affect your ability to pay your bills. If you took on debt under different financial circumstances and now find yourself in a completely new financial territory, it may be time to file bankruptcy.
You are only making the minimum payments on your bills, and there is no money left over.
If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck and still cannot pay more than the minimums on your bills, you are simply accumulating more and more debt over time. Without an increase in income, you cannot expect to get out of the hole of debt you are digging.
You are behind on rent or mortgage payments.
Most people will do anything to pay for the place where they live. Skipping rent payments can get you evicted while skipping mortgage payments can lead to foreclosure. Neither is a pleasant option. Bankruptcy may allow you to stay in your home, so don’t just throw those late payment notices in the trash. Deal with the problem head-on and the solution might be better than you expect.
You are borrowing money just to get by.
Whether this means borrowing from friends or family to pay your bills or using credit cards for a day-to-day living, borrowing money just to make ends meet is a sign of serious financial distress.
Your debt is making you sick.
The stress of massive debt can cause physical symptoms. It is hard to relax or sleep at night when you are worried about how to pay your utilities or whether you can make rent this month. When bill collectors start hounding you, just the sound of a phone ringing can make you sick to your stomach. When the burden of debt turns into physical illness, it is time to make a change.
Filing bankruptcy is a lengthy and difficult process, not something to take on by yourself. A bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate the bankruptcy process and all the paperwork that goes with it. If you are considering filing bankruptcy but are not quite sure how to proceed, call Bartifay Law Offices today. Our bankruptcy lawyers have years of experience advising people in situations just like yours. We can help you sift through your finances and figure out the best options for your future.