Friday, July 22, 2011

Should I File Bankruptcy in 2011?

The economic meltdown has caused many Americans to find themselves drowning in debt.  No doubt this contributed to the new data that shows that 2010, was marked by more personal bankruptcies than any other year since the stricter federal bankruptcy laws were enacted in 2005.  According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, roughly 1.53 million consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in 2010.  This is up 9% from 2009.  This data was compiled by the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

With so many people seeking the protection the bankruptcy laws have to offer you may be wondering, "should I file?"  The answer is going to depend on your personal financial situation, but you ultimately need to understand what type of protection and advantages bankruptcy offers.

Consider the Advantages:

At the Heart of Bankruptcy is Debt Discharge
Personal bankruptcy offers a very basic advantage.  The discharge of insurmountable debt.  After receiving a bankruptcy discharge, all creditors are prohibited from collecting on those discharged debts.  Debt is simply wiped away giving you a fresh financial start.  If  you have unmanageable debt including credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, etc. bankruptcy can be the solution you need.

Protection from Creditor Harassment
If you have debt you cannot afford to pay and have fallen behind on payments you likely know, all too well, about the tactics creditors will use to collect on those debts.  Whether it be harassing phone calls or letters in the mail, a bankruptcy filing will stop all collection actions.  The Automatic Stay in bankruptcy protects you from your harassing creditors.  They are not allowed to collect from you outside the bankruptcy process.  This also means all wage garnishments must stop one you have a bankruptcy case number.

Saving a Home from Foreclosure
Scared you may lose your home?  Did you fall behind on payments due to job loss or illness?  If you simply need more time to get caught up on payments than the mortgage company is willing to allow, bankruptcy could be your solution.  Regardless of the reason for falling behind on payments a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help save your home.  The Chapter 13 allows you to put the amount you are down on the mortgage into a manageable Chapter 13 plan payment.  This prevents the mortgage company from selling your home and allows you time to get caught up on payments.  The bankruptcy also prevents other creditors from collecting from you giving you the extra money you need to stay current on your mortgage.

Protecting Your Personal Property
Will I lose my car or personal possessions if I file bankruptcy.  This is a common question when thinking about bankruptcy.  The bankruptcy laws allow a person to typically keep all personal property including cars and household items.  The property is considered "exempt" and protected from creditors.  There are exemption limits so verify with your bankruptcy attorney that all your property is exempt.

For millions of Americans bankruptcy has become a safety net when faced with financial crisis.  While bankruptcy can seem scary or complicated, experienced bankruptcy attorneys can guide you through the entire process.  Before making a decision about your debt resolution options, make sure to take advantage of a free bankruptcy consultation from an experience bankruptcy attorney.   

If you have questions regarding bankruptcy in Indiana please contact Jackson & Oglesby Law at (877) 489-0908 or visit us at Jackson & Oglesby Law can assist you with all aspects of your bankruptcy case. If you have questions regarding Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, stopping foreclosure or wage garnishment, avoiding liens, stopping law suits, discharging debt, etc. we can help! Please call us today for your free consultation to determine which bankruptcy may be right for you.


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