If you have been in debt and wondered if you should file for bankruptcy, then it is time to assess your situation. Bankruptcy can be a very stressful position to be in, especially since the media tends to bombard us with various stories of businesses being successful and dropping to rock bottom. However, there is a huge list of all the reasons why someone can become bankrupt. Once you have figured out the various factors that should be taken into account when filing for bankruptcy, you may then to proceed in hiring a Baltimore bankruptcy attorney for guidance.
Since declaring for bankruptcy can have long term effects, it is best to consider all of your alternatives and ask yourself the right questions. Below are a few questions to help you assess your finances and what factors should be taken into consideration in order to make your decision clearer:
• Look into your alternatives: Not everyone who experiences financial issues need to file for bankruptcy. However, it does not hurt to sit down and look into your financial documents to fully review the situation. You might find out that you do not have to file for bankruptcy and that you can fix your financial woes with a few simple changes.
• Find out if you are eligible to file for bankruptcy: There are certain requirements that are needed in order to file for bankruptcy. If you do not know them, you may always consult a Baltimore bankruptcy attorney for help. An example is not being eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have enough income to pay off your debt.
• Temporary situations: Being realistic, you must consider whether your financial issues are temporary. For example, if you have just lost your job, find out if you are qualified for unemployment benefits. Being unemployed is not always a good enough reason to file for bankruptcy. Looking into other job opportunities will help you get your life back so you can be on your way to paying your debt.
• Your home: Before filing for bankruptcy, you want to know what is going to happen to your home. If you cannot make your mortgage payments by looking through your files, you might be able to be forgiven by paying off your other debts. Although, if you have a lot of equity that you have invest into your home, there may be a chance of losing it. On the other hand, if you have an income that is high enough, there is a chance of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy which will include your mortgage payments. Moreover, you also want to know which assets you can keep, depending in the location you live in.
• Your property: Aside from your home, you also want to know what will happen to your property and other valuable items before proceeding with your decision. Whatever happens will depend on how much you have invested into your property and the property exception laws that are available to you. It is important that you study the exemption laws to know what you can keep in order to help you survive.
• Your credit card debts: Filing for bankruptcy has become an effective tool for wiping out all of your credit card debt. Therefore, it is important to find out if your own credit card debt will be wiped out when filing for bankruptcy. If you did not mention or lie about any credit card applications or you have spent more than your means, bankruptcy might not forgive any of your credit card debt.
• Pension and Insurance Plans: Since most state laws help protect your pension and insurance plans, it is still best to find out if they will continue to be protected throughout the bankruptcy process.
Taking note of the few factors mentioned can help you make strategic decisions. Many experts suggest waiting until your financial crisis is over or stabilized before you file. This way, you do not end up paying more bills along the way.