Clark & Washington

How do I know if it’s the right time to file bankruptcy?

Do you avoid answering phone calls from unknown callers? Do you set aside mail without opening it when the return address is either one you do not recognize or one you do recognize as being from a debt collection company?

Are you living paycheck to paycheck and even then, choosing which bills to pay and which ones to put over until the next payday? Is your “rainy day” fund non-existent? Do all these things keep you awake at night as you toss and turn wondering if it is even possible to ever dig out of the financial hole you feel you have fallen into?

Even though you know that thousands and thousands of other people are in your same situation and will likely file for bankruptcy this year, that is no comfort. You feel you should be able to pay your bills. Your constant sense of feeling overwhelmed leads you to think about bankruptcy, but how do you know if the time is right?

How to Know if the Time is Right to File a Bankruptcy Petition

Some major clues that it might be time to file a bankruptcy petition include:

It May Be Time to File A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also referred to as “fresh start” bankruptcy. If you have certain types of debt, the debts will be “discharged,” which means you will no longer owe them. Not all debt is erased, but if all or most of your debt is due to any of the following, Chapter 7 may provide you the relief you need.

Debts you will still owe even if your other debts are discharged in bankruptcy include past due child support or alimony and any court judgment against you. Also, if you are behind in your mortgage payments, filing for Chapter 7 relief may interrupt the collection and eviction process, but past due mortgage payments are not discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A bankruptcy lawyer will evaluate your situation and let you know if Chapter 7 bankruptcy will provide you the relief you need.

It May Be Time to File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

You may have enough income to pay all your monthly financial obligations, but something happened, and you got behind. Now, you are overwhelmed, playing “catch-up,” a game you feel you can never win. This may be the time to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your debt and present a proposal to the court about how you can repay your debts. Your back debts, including your past due mortgage payments, can be lumped together into a repayment plan that may take you three to five years to pay off. At the end of that time, some debts may be discharged. A bankruptcy attorney may present you with other options for saving your home.

Our Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help

If your debts have become overwhelming, talk to our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys at Clark & Washington. Since 1983, we have helped thousands of people in Atlanta get a fresh financial start by filing either for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation where we discuss your situation, explain your rights, and together, we determine the best approach. Contact us to schedule your FREE Consultation.


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