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Many times, debt is occasioned by unforeseen events such as loss of a job or medical bills. Other times, lack of resources or education to learn budgeting and basic financial skills can lead to overwhelming debt. More so than in any other time in our country's history, our economy is based on consumer debt. In fact, in this age of multibillion dollar corporate bailouts, easy credit and relentless bombarding of seductive messages cajoling us to charge, consume, buy it is not surprising that so many people are drowning in debt.
For many of us, this debt is insurmountable and is causing family problems and feelings of hopelessness. With credit card interest rates of 18-36%, many feel like modern-day indentured servants. In instituting our bankruptcy laws, Congress recognized that responsible, well-intentioned people could from time to time run into financial problems. By allowing you to recover from your debt burden you will be able to start afresh, look to the future and contribute productively to the economy again.
The mortgage crisis has also forced many people into bankruptcy. Over the last several years, even the most trusted banks and mortgage companies were making exotic loans like pick-a-payment loans, negatively amortizing loans, and ARMS with aggressive teaser rates. Although bankruptcy will not change the terms of a home mortgage, filing a bankruptcy petition will give a homeowner facing foreclosure some breathing room.
Bankruptcy, either through a Chapter 7 liquidation or a Chapter 13 "wage earner” plan, is one way to start fresh. In most cases, filing a bankruptcy immediately stops creditors from taking any action against you, like calling you, filing lawsuits, garnishing wages, or even foreclosing on your house. In a Chapter 13, we can help you analyze whether to pursue claims against your mortgage company or other creditors.
Sometimes, individuals might have to file a Chapter 11, if their financial situation is especially complicated or if they have debt that exceeds the Chapter 13 limits. Other times, we can help people stabilize their finances without filing for bankruptcy.
The decision of whether or not to file a bankruptcy is a serious one, and should not be taken lightly. Moreover, you should be careful not to make such an important decision without appropriate legal advice. No web site can give you enough information to make an informed decision. Call us today and make an appointment to meet with one of our lawyers. This article will tell you what you can expect at your initial appointment. Find out if bankruptcy is right for you.