It’s always good to pay your debts, if you can keep up with them. But if your debt is simply overwhelming, it may be time to file for bankruptcy.
These days the main trigger for someone filing for bankruptcy is that they have lost their job. There are other reasons which may lead to bankruptcy, such as health issues, divorce, death, poor business decisions, a bad economy, foreclosure and following bad advice. No matter what the reasons are that lead someone to file, the process for bankruptcy remains much the same for everyone. The differences lie in the circumstances that caused them to file, what Chapter they choose to file under or which one they are qualified to file under.
The common definition of being legally bankrupt is when an individual’s pay check does not cover all of their living expenses, allow them to pay interest on loans, or pay down the principal on loans while working to pay them off in a five-year period. Five years happens to be the maximum time limit a U.S. bankruptcy court allows a person work their way out of bankruptcy protection.
While many people report that they feel declaring bankruptcy is embarrassing and will wreck their credit rating, there are a number of beneficial advantages for a debtor who chooses to take this route. They will get an “automatic stay,” which instantly stops all foreclosures, repossessions, evictions, attachments, garnishments, some types of lawsuits and utility shut-offs.
Filing may save the family home and allow you to reschedule your secured debts. Filing may also extend protection for co-debtors. While many people don’t realize this, you may also keep non-exempt property, consolidate all loans into one plan, extend some obligations (such as student loans or tax bills) and that all or part of your loans may be completely forgiven.
There are exceptions to every rule and no two bankruptcies follow the same path. This is why it is best to consult with a qualified Iowa bankruptcy lawyer about which Chapter to file under and to make sure all relevant papers are filed on time, as required. Each set of circumstances is different for every debtor, and it is those circumstances, income, or lack thereof, that will determine whether Chapter 7 would work or Chapter 13.
Seeking bankruptcy protection is a complex and complicated process, best left in the skilled hands of an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. They know how to expedite the process where possible, can explain what all the forms mean, ensure things are filed on time and according to court requirements, and can offer advice on the various options open to you.