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How can I tell if I’m ready to file for bankruptcy?

Many Oregon residents are feeling the financial pinch from today’s difficult times. If you’re suffering from unemployment, insurmountable credit card or medical debt, or facing a foreclosure, you may be wondering what options are available to help you through this phase of life.

Is bankruptcy the right option for you? And if so, how do you know when it’s the right time to file? Filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you the chance to start over, but each choice also has limitations and consequences. For example, you could lose some types of non-exempt property to repay creditors. A bankruptcy will also stay on your credit report for several years and will most likely dramatically affect your credit score. However, the long-term benefits of bankruptcy can outweigh these disadvantages.

There comes a time when all other options fail. You may have already tried speaking with a financial counselor, consolidating your credit cards and other loans, and even negotiating with your creditors to no avail. Furthermore, your attempts to modify or refinance may have led to dead ends.

Fortunately, that is not where the road needs to end. Filing for bankruptcy may be an ideal choice for you after you have exhausted the above options or if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You are unemployed and have no savings or other income.
  • You are delinquent with your taxes.
  • Your wages are being garnished.
  • You are facing lawsuits for delinquent debt.

Additionally, if you’re facing a foreclosure and want to keep your home, bankruptcy is a viable option to consider.

In many cases, bankruptcy does not carry the stigma it used to. Many families are finding financial relief in discharging or restructuring their debts through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. However, filing for bankruptcy should not be a decision to take lightly and should be considered in addition to other debt management options.

This blog is designed to provide general information and should not to be taken as legal advice.

Source: Quick and Dirty Tips, “Should You File Bankruptcy?” Laura Adams, Nov.30, 2011

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