Bankruptcy is a cruel fact of life for many in the US. Thousands of US individuals have filed for bankruptcy over the past few years. The improved economy in the recent past has not drastically reduced the number of filings. If you are overwhelmed by your outstanding bills and debts and there is no way you can find a solution to your immediate financial needs, it may be time to consult a bankruptcy lawyer.
Filing for a bankruptcy can give you a new lease of life and relieve you from the payment of most of your debts. You can seek respite from credit card debt, unsecured bills and medical debt. Your bankruptcy lawyer would advise you if you will benefit from filing. Your attorney would advise the Chapter under which you should file. The most common chapters under which bankruptcy is filed are under chapter 7 and under chapter 13.
Liquidation under Chapter 7 can wipe out your debts and give you and your family a fresh start. However, you must be well informed of the consequences of such an action to your credit and future financial health. Your credit can be affected for a period of 10 years. Furthermore, you would be endangering some potential employment opportunities.
When you are being harassed by creditors and in desperate need for a fresh start, filing for bankruptcy can be seen as a valid alternative. Under Chapter 7 you can be allowed to keep most of your essential property. The unsecured debt would be recovered by surrendering non exempt property. The debtor can keep some secured property like the family home and car. The non exempt property such as cash, stocks, bonds, bank deposits and other investments, any vacation home or second car can be seized.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2006 was implemented to curb the rising number of filings for bankruptcy. Under the law, the debtor has to undergo a means test, credit counseling and some other measures before they can consider filing. This act had only temporarily brought down the number of overall filings. The incidence of filing has been growing over the past years. The economic downturn and job losses across the country had seen many families lose their incomes and homes.
Before undergoing this procedure, you should find a reliable and effective lawyer to present your case. The filing process is complicated and requires care while undertaking the procedure. It is always recommended that you take the advice of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. A lawyer can guide a debtor in the administrative procedures and ensure that the papers are in compliance with bankruptcy court requirements.