Tag: bankruptcy

The Forms of Bankruptcy Options

Question: What are the bankruptcy options for those who have been through a taxing financial crisis?
Answer: If your financial life is spiraling out of control, with late payment fees and interest multiplying faster than you can them, considering the bankruptcy facts might be the best option that allows you the room to piece your life back together and make a fresh start. Take a look at some of your bankruptcy options to see if this is a good choice for you and your situation.
Six types of bankruptcy exist: Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15. However, only two of these are legitimate bankruptcy options for individuals, Chapters 9, 11, 12, and 15 are specialized bankruptcies for municipalities, business corporations, family farmers and fishermen, and international ancillaries, respectively.
Individuals usually file for one of two bankruptcy options: either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, depending on your level of debt and the assets you are trying to keep. Both bankruptcy options remain on your credit report for 10 years.
Individuals, corporations, or partnerships may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is also known as liquation or straight bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all your assets are liquidated, and the proceeds from these sales go to your creditors.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is intended for individuals with debts that do not exceed $1,230,650. Chapter 13 is considered less toxic to your credit score. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves working out a payment plan with creditors, resulting in creditors ceasing collection attempts. After you make the payments to the creditors, you can receive a discharge. The benefit of this option is that you can retain a leased car or a mortgaged house, but you need to repay all your remaining debts over a three- to five-year period or else creditors will confiscate your assets.
Because bankruptcy is such a complex process, it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney to discuss your bankruptcy options. Bankruptcy has important implications for your finances and for your legal status, so having an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can prevent you from making serious mistakes. For example, an attorney might be able to advise you about property that is exempt from asset collection in bankruptcy. As well, an experienced attorney can help you answer the important question: “Should I file for bankruptcy?
If you so choose, you may be able to file on your own, or pro se. Be prepared to do a lot of work to research the bankruptcy code and any special laws unique to your state or county. Generally, filing pro se is only recommended when you are attempting a relatively simple bankruptcy and don’t have any major assets at risk.
If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might want to ask your attorney about reaffirming part of your debt, a process that will allow you to preserve a debt through bankruptcy so that you can pay it off. It might sound strange to consider keeping a debt.
What? you might be thinking. Reaffirm a debt? Isn’t bankruptcy an opportunity to wipe the slate clean?
It is, but reaffirming a debt might have some benefits. Some proponents of this strategy argue that if you continue to pay on one or two of your existing accounts, you will help your credit score by showing credit-scoring bureaus that you did not shirk all your debt. Reaffirming a debt that is in good standing may help you in some circumstances, such as when you have a small amount on a credit card you have had for several years. By keeping the debt, you will keep the account active and thereby take advantage of the age of the account. (Credit-scoring bureaus assign 15 percent of your credit score to the length of time of your credit accounts.)
However, if you reaffirm too many debts, you will miss the best opportunity offered by bankruptcy: a chance to start over without bearing the weight of your previous debts. Reaffirming debt is a complicated decision and among the bankruptcy options you should discuss with a qualified attorney.
If you are considering your bankruptcy options, be sure to do your homework and make the best decision for your situation. If you are unable to avoid bankruptcy, being strategic as you work through the process will help you gain some control in your life and start working for a brighter future. And, of course, don’t forget to start the process to repair credit after bankruptcy!

Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Should I file for bankruptcy? If you have creditors that are calling at all hours and bills that are piling up faster than you can pay them, you have definitely asked yourself this question. While you should always pay back your bills—it’s the right thing to do—you might have no choice but make a clean break. One of the harder bankruptcy facts to accept is that sometimes bankruptcy is the best option.
If you are wondering, should I file for bankruptcy?, spend some time thinking about your various options:

  • You might think about debt consolidation, which can combine all your debts into one loan so that you can make one payment at a time.
  • Hiring a reputable debt consolidation company is also an option, but like debt settlement companies, some unscrupulous companies might end up costing you time and money.
  • Loan modification programs and reductions in payments are another option for distressed homeowners. Perhaps you can contact the hardship departments for your creditors and ask them to consider a change in terms that will allow you to float above water. Especially during a financial crisis, banks want to help their clients make their payments. They know that many people are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. In fact, you might want to call your mortgage lender and ask: “Should I file for bankruptcy, or can I qualify for a loan modification program?” Rather than having all your debt discharged during a bankruptcy, many creditors will simply lower your payments. After all, something is better than nothing.

“Should I file for bankruptcy if none of these options are available?”
That said, if you have exhausted all options, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy, especially if you face the possibility of losing property. (Bankruptcy enables many people to hold on to their property despite their financial woes.) The first determination that you need to make as you consider bankruptcy is based on your finances. If you are in a situation where you can’t dig yourself out from a mountain of debt, then bankruptcy can stop creditors from charging late fees and interest on your bills. If you are at this point, considering one of the various forms of bankruptcy options may be the best option so you can make a fresh start. Plus, you won’t have to worry about being harassed by creditors every day and losing sleep as a result of worrying about your debts.
That said, a bankruptcy will definitely harm your credit, but if you are already too deeply in debt to repay your debts, your credit will probably be severely tarnished after several more years of collection notices and repossessions.
Once you declare bankruptcy, the next step in regaining your credit is to embark on a robust credit repair campaign. If you can improve your credit score by changing your habits and paying your bills on time, you can slowly begin regain financial stability. In fact, if you are diligent about repairing your credit and establishing good financial habits, you might even qualify for a home loan within two years of declaring bankruptcy!
Ultimately, your question—”Should I file for bankruptcy?”is a personal one. You must learn how to create a budget, consider all of your bankruptcy options, and then make a strategic choice. If you cannot find a light at the end of the tunnel and know that bankruptcy is eventually inevitable, you should begin the process today so you can start rebuilding your future and your credit score.

Foreclosure, Bankrucptcy, and Short Sale on Credit Report

Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, and Short Sale on Credit Report
Credit Bad, How to Build Credit, Credit Score

Question submitted by Mike Lavios, Lake Oswego, OR
Question: How long will the following stay on a clients credit report? – Foreclosure, Personal bankruptcy, Business bankruptcy, Short Sale
Mike – here is your answer:
– Foreclosure – 7 years
– Chapter 7 BK – 10 years
– Chapter 13 BK – 7 years
But remember, you do not need a clean credit report to have a high credit score. The key is to reestablish your credit from the beginning, if you do that, your credit score will jump quickly. As I say often, if you reestablish your credit the right way, you will have a 720 Credit Score 7-8 years before the bankruptcy falls off your credit report.
Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, and Short Sale on Credit Report
Credit Bad, How to Build Credit, Credit Score