Updated: May 18
Information about debt relief runs like wildfire all over the internet. There are many options to consider. There is any number of myths that put a stigma around filing for bankruptcy. Could bankruptcy be an option for you? Follow these bankruptcy myth busters.
Myths and why they are busted
1. My credit will be ruined for 7 years: BUSTED. There are many ways to rebuild credit after bankruptcy. We offer a credit rebuilding program after filing that teaches you all about applying for new credit cards, navigating debt negotiations, and how to manage your credit score. Rest assured, your credit will not be ruined and you can start immediately on the road to repair with some easy steps.
2. All debt can be discharged: BUSTED. While it is true that most debts can be discharged, there are a few that cannot; child support and tax liens cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. Student loans are very difficult to discharge as you must prove undue hardship.
3. I will lose my property: BUSTED. Most people can file bankruptcy and not lose any property at all. Your personal and real property is protected with exemptions. This includes vehicles and homes. If there is equity in your property, you may need to work out paying some of that back to the trustee for them to disperse equally among your creditors but you will not necessarily lose anything.
4. Bankruptcy is too expensive: BUSTED. You should think of bankruptcy as an investment. It may cost a lot to file bankruptcy, but under the care of an experienced and trusted attorney, you could avoid tens of thousands in fees and debts. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for. You most definitely want an attorney who has the experience and knows the ins and outs of all the possible scenarios. In the long run, the cost is low considering what it can save you. You can file bankruptcy pro se, or on your own behalf, but this is not advisable because bankruptcy can be complicated, has pitfalls to avoid, and should be looked over by a professional.
5. I make too much money: BUSTED. Everyone who files bankruptcy above a certain income level goes through the Means Test. If your income does not qualify you for a chapter 7, you probably qualify to do a chapter 13. This means the trustee has you make reasonable payments based on your disposable income to the court so it can be evenly distributed to your creditors over a period of 5 years. They review your current expenses to determine this so you are still left with enough money to live on.
The important lesson to learn here is that bankruptcy is not a difficult as it may seem. Most attorneys will offer you a free case evaluation. Ask questions! Learn your options because you do have them. Bankruptcy is not an easy decision. Debt can make you feel frozen with nowhere to go. Get unfrozen and take steps now to get a fresh start.
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