Although filing for bankruptcy is less common than it was several years ago, approximately 800,000 people still filed in 2016. When people are drowning in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best possible option. Bankruptcy can free you of most of your debt, but it does have a negative effect on your credit. That is why filing should be a last resort. Here are five signs you should file for bankruptcy.
You Can’t Afford to Pay Your BillsWhether the reason you can’t afford to pay your bills is due to a job loss or major illness, not being able to can be incredibly stressful. The thought of getting evicted from your apartment or your car getting repossessed may even send you into a panic. If you have been using your credit cards to pay your bills, you will have a lot of debt sooner than you think. If you are not making as much money as you were before, you may not be able to make your minimum payments. If you file for bankruptcy, it can discharge some of your debt, giving you some financial relief. Debt Collectors Are Suing YouIf you have not paid your debt in a while, it will likely get turned over to a debt collection agency. This agency will contact you by phone and mail, demanding that you pay the debt you owe them. If you still don’t pay your debt, the collection agency can file a lawsuit against you. If you are being sued by a debt collection agency, it may be time to file for bankruptcy. Once you file, there will be an automatic stay, which prevents creditors from pursuing a lawsuit without permission from a bankruptcy court.Your Wages Are Being GarnishedIf a debt collection agency has filed a lawsuit against you, they may garnish your wages to obtain the money you owe them. Having your wages garnished can make it even more difficult to pay your bills, so it may be necessary to file for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect, stopping wage garnishment. It is also possible to recover garnished wages before you filed bankruptcy if they were more than $600 and your exemptions cover them.You Are Close to Losing Your HomeIf you have not made a mortgage payment in a while, you may be at risk for foreclosure. The thought of losing your home can definitely be stressful. If you file for bankruptcy, there’s a chance you can keep your home, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file for. Filing for Chapter 13 may be a better option than Chapter 7 if your house has nonexempt equity and your mortgage payments are overdue. You Are Unable to Put Away savings when something unexpected happens, like a medical emergency, it’s beneficial to have some money socked away. If you have determined that it is time to file for bankruptcy, it may be a good idea to set up a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Filing for bankruptcy can be a lot more complicated than you think, and it helps to have someone with knowledge on your side. A bankruptcy attorney can help you decide between filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and assist you with filling out the paperwork accurately. With a reputable bankruptcy attorney on your side, you can have peace of mind about your situation. If you want to learn more information about filing for bankruptcy, you may want to contact Lynch & Belch P.C. Their experienced lawyers will fight for your rights and help you get the best possible outcome.