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Alternatives to bankruptcy might not be as good as they seem

For those experiencing periods of financial struggle, there may be numerous available options to assist an individual in pursuing debt relief. However, when researching each in turn, one might want to proceed with caution, as certain avenues may do more harm than good. Instead of rushing into a settlement agreement, individuals in Oregon and elsewhere might find it beneficial to consider seeking guidance on the benefits of filing for bankruptcy.

At first glance, the idea of settling debts could seem exceedingly appealing, but the reality may not be as ideal as one might think. A similar arrangement could have downsides that aren't immediately apparent, such as income taxes assessed on the amounts forgiven. It can also take numerous years to complete a settlement, during which interest rates and fees could bring the total back up to around 90 percent of the original amount owed.

In addition, a settlement might not provide an individual with the same protection as a bankruptcy. Those who are pursuing a similar outlet could continue to receive constant calls and letters, which can place a significant strain on everyday life. Although a bankruptcy will remain on one's credit for a set period, those who file could obtain immediate relief from collection attempts, and although it will inherently have an impact on their credit score, a settlement agreement could have the same result, or in some cases, worse.

When facing financial hardships, an individual might find it beneficial to seek guidance from someone with experience in the area. By speaking with a bankruptcy attorney, a client in Oregon could obtain advice on every available option for debt relief, as well as their potential outcomes. An attorney can evaluate a client's financial situation and assist in pursuing a brighter financial future through the necessary channels.

Source: southbendtribune.com, "Debt settlement a bad alternative to bankruptcy", Liz Weston, Aug. 30, 2017

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