Filing for bankruptcy can be an intimidating procedure. For many people, it may be the first time they’ll need to contact an attorney. For others, there’s a heavy fear of the unknown and the extended feeling of indecision can take its toll on a family. Many people are convinced they can dig themselves out of debt without filing for bankruptcy, and others have attempted debt consolidation programs and payday advances to no avail. So one of the most difficult questions when considering filing for bankruptcy ends up being “when?” When is it time to stop considering bankruptcy and to actually contact a lawyer and get the process started?
Living Expenses How are you paying for your living expenses? Are you putting your groceries and gas purchases on credit cards, with no idea how you’ll pay off the bill? We’ve gotten so used to the idea of credit cards and the month or so delay on bills they can offer us, but there’s a big difference between deferring your debt and relying on credit to survive. Once you begin carrying balances on your credit cards, the interest rates can bury you in debt. The first month you are unable to pay your credit cards off, you should consider contacting an attorney.
Retirement Accounts Never, ever, ever use a retirement account to dig yourself out of debt. Retirement accounts are some of the only accounts that are fully protected in a bankruptcy. Taking money from a retirement account early will also result in additional taxes and penalties, which can quickly deplete your savings. If you’ve started to use your retirement savings on your debt, it’s time to contact an attorney.
Collection If you’re feeling harassed by collection agencies, and avoid phone calls and opening the mail, you should consider filing for bankruptcy. There’s only so much you can avoid these creditors, and each attempt at contact may become overwhelming. Unfortunately, some people remain in denial and cannot see when it’s time to file. If you’re afraid to answer your phone or open your mail, it may be time to contact an El Paso bankruptcy lawyer.
Overdraft and Payday Advances If you’re writing checks you know won’t cash, or if you’re repeatedly seeking payday advances, it’s time to think about bankruptcy. While overdraft and payday advances can sometimes save you when you’re in a bind, they shouldn’t be used continuously. Both habits result in high interest and penalties, which is actually hurting you more than helping.
Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. Many honest, hard-working individuals find themselves in a bind due to illness, loss of job or divorce. Filing for bankruptcy can get you back on your feet and give you a new beginning.
About the Author: Jeff Davis is the Owner of the Davis law firm and a highly experienced El Paso bankruptcy attorney. To find out more information about a El Paso bankruptcy lawyer, please visit www.jeffdavislawfirm.com.