The Disadvantages of Filing for Bankruptcy
As a Texas Bankruptcy Attorney helping people file for bankruptcy debt relief, I have seen all kinds of financial problems and counseled thousands of individuals on their debt relief options. And, while each situation is unique, the problem is almost always the same - too much debt.
Having helped thousands eliminate millions of dollars in debt, I believe that filing for bankruptcy can be a responsible solution that can eliminate or reduce debt as well as provide for a fresh financial start. For those individuals with serious debt problems who are facing foreclosure, repossession, IRS problems, tax debts, child support arrears, or significant amounts of credit card debt, The Bankruptcy Process can put you back in control of your finances on your terms. In my practice I have seen more advantages to filing for bankruptcy than disadvantages. And despite the fact that this is usually the case, filing for bankruptcy whether it be a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, does have some disadvantages, however minimal.
In every consultation I am usually asked what the disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy are. If I am not asked then it is my duty to advise a consumer of the potential disadvantages of bankruptcy. The most serious consequence of filing for bankruptcy is the damage it does to your credit. However, most people Knee Deep in Debt who choose to file for bankruptcy often tend to have serious problems with their credit way before they actually file. Their credit is usually bad and beyond repair. If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, your particular credit situation may already be damaged to the point in which the filing of a bankruptcy will not have any greater effect than not filing for bankruptcy.
Once you file for bankruptcy relief, a bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to ten years. This usually means that you might not be able to obtain credit for a certain period of time. Keep in mind that late payments and other negative information such as a foreclosure, repossession, and late credit card payments can also remain on your credit report for just as long. If you plan to purchase a car or a house in the near future or immediately after filing, it may be difficult to obtain such financing straight away. But, obtaining credit after bankruptcy is not as difficult as the credit card companies would lead you to think. In many respects, a bankruptcy may actually improve your credit. That’s because a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy provides for a discharge of debts no more than once every eight years. So, potential lenders know that any credit applicant who has received a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge cannot repeat the process for some time.
Any new debts incurred beginning the very day after you file for bankruptcy relief must be paid. Even if there is an emergency, such as the loss of employment, or an illness that incurs a significant amount of medical expenses, you won’t be able to utilize bankruptcy as a safety net.
Any co-signers will continue to be liable for the debts they co-signed even if you filed for Chapter 7 Liquidation Under The Bankruptcy Code, unless they file for bankruptcy protection as well.
Before you file for bankruptcy, you should take the time to review your entire financial picture and you bankruptcy alternatives with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. You should carefully weigh the current advantages of filing for bankruptcy, such as filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure and save your home or to stop repossession and save your car, or simply to eliminate your debts and start over in a Chapter 7. Then, consider the disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy against the current and long term disadvantages. You should discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney, even if you intend to file your bankruptcy yourself because the latest changes to the bankruptcy law and the pre-filing requirements that have accompanied them are not as simple as filling out a few bankruptcy forms. I you’re considering a bankruptcy filing, you’ll want to make sure that you will be able to protect all of your assets when you file.
So if you are considering filing for bankruptcy to stop foreclosure, stop repossession, to get rid of credit card debt, or to just start over consider the following:
- Your Credit Report
- Most items on your credit report will stay there for seven years a but bankruptcy can stay for ten years. Would you rather have a bankruptcy on your credit report for ten years with a fresh start or a foreclosure, repossession, lawsuit, and late payments to haunt you for the same period of time?
- Potential Employers
- Although it is a violation of federal law to discriminate against you if you have filed for bankruptcy, it can be taken into account by a potential employer when offering you new employment.
- Loss of Assets
- There are certain circumstances where a person may loose some of their assets or personal property to the bankruptcy trustee. This rarely happens, but when it does it is likely due to a bankruptcy filing without an attorney or an attorney who doesn’t know about bankruptcy law, or the person may simply have too much non-exempt property.
- The “B” Word Stigma
- Bankruptcy is often associated with some type of negative stereotype. Years ago, just hearing the word “Bankruptcy” used to set a tone of irresponsibility and was considered one of the most embarrassing things for a person to do. Nowadays, such a stigma no longer exists, and the reality is that many people filing for bankruptcy find it to be the most responsible option in order to obtain Debt Relief.
- A Matter of Public Information
- It is a fact that a bankruptcy filing is a matter of Public record, however unless someone is looking through legal publications it is highly unlikely that they will find out. Most main stream newspapers and community publications don’t usually publish bankruptcy filings. And, if they did your name would be listed with potentially hundreds of others who use the Bankruptcy laws for Debt Relief.
While filing for bankruptcy clearly has some disadvantages it is a choice that only you can decide to make. When faced with loosing your home, your personal property, or your peace of mind, a bankruptcy can sometimes be the most responsible way to obtain a fresh financial start. The advantages and disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy should be weighed carefully with the advice of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
At The Law Offices of R.J.Atkinson we can help you to explore the advantages and disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, or Dallas. Contact the Texas Bankruptcy Attorneys at The Law Offices of R.J.Atkinson for a free initial consultation to see how we can help you with your Debt.
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