In 2002, I hit the lowest point in my life (financially). I had to declare bankruptcy. It was not fun. I am not proud I did it. However, having survived it and come out better on the other side, I know that I had to go through that to become the person I am today.
Having done this doesn’t mean I am a bad person. It doesn’t mean anything negative. It simply means I was not properly educated on credit and finances. As a result, I took a path that I could not get out of and it was my last result. Trust me, I tried a lot of things before visiting with an attorney.
The good that came from this is that I no longer live that same way. I am very smart with my money and rather than allowing it to control me – I control it! That is an amazing feeling. No financial stress keeping me awake at night. No fights over money with my spouse. It truly is a beautiful thing.
Even though I’ve personally been down this path before myself, I really do not wish anyone to have go to through this. However, sometimes, you have no other choice. I recently contacted a bankruptcy attorney to get some information regarding what you should know before you actually file.
Leslie Tayne, with Tayne Law Group, provide me with some great things to consider before you file. Keep in mind that this is NOT to be construed as legal advice. You should always seek counsel before making any decision about this or any other legal matter. (Whew, now that the legal stuff is out of the way – let’s get onto those points)!
“First, get a copy of your credit report and be in the know about how much debt you actually have. You want to make sure you have all of the debt listed so you can make the best possible choice in terms of a bankruptcy and see which bankruptcy you may qualify for since there are 2 general types of bankruptcy that consumers could file under. That is Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, there are a few differences and knowing them could sway your decision whether to file bankruptcy or not.
Next, consider all of your options. We counsel people to consider bankruptcy as a last resort. Do research and talk to a few professionals to get the best possible opinions before you file. Consider if there is an alternative to bankruptcy that you can afford and that makes sense in the short and long terms. These factors should be considered as well when deciding on a bankruptcy filing. Once you get into Court you do lose some control and that fact alone can dissuade someone from the bankruptcy process. Regardless of which road you go down, do your research on the professional you choose to work with.
Make sure you have all of your tax information from the last few years in order since you’ll need that when talking to a bankruptcy attorney. This may require a consultation in person with your accountant to go over those details.
Plan out your life after bankruptcy. It may be hard for you to get credit so consider researching alternatives and know how you will pay your expenses. Consider options such as secured credit cards and dedicate some time to creating a realistic budget to stay on track with spending. In addition, know your income sources and be sure that you can secure your financial future on your current income. You may have to consider some lifestyle alternatives while getting back on your feet which could mean a less expensive car, renting or even taking a second job.”
Just know that there are things you might try before bankruptcy, but if you do need to file, just keep these few things in mind before placing that call. Also know that you are not alone and it is not the end of the world.