If your goal is to simply stop a flood of ugly creditor telephone calls, the law is partly on your side. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires collection agencies (but not the original creditor) to stop calling you if you ask them to stop. However, even if those collectors honor your request to stop calling, it does not eliminate your financial problems. A quick and permanent solution may be to file bankruptcy.
Bad Things Sometimes Happen to Good People
Oppressive debt can overwhelm anyone. Respected people such as Walt Disney, Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln have experienced bankruptcy. But it is sometimes difficult to admit you can’t pay your bills and that you need help getting out of debt. That’s why our government has bankruptcy laws to protect you and, with the guidance of a good attorney, to help you get a financial fresh start.
Assessing Your Situation
- Are bill collectors calling you?
- Do you make only minimum credit card payments?
- Does thinking about straightening out your finances scare you?
- Do you use credit cards in able to afford food and other necessities?
If you can answer yes to a couple of those questions, it may be in your best interest to consider bankruptcy.
To better understand your situation, grab a pencil and quickly jot down: Assets vs. Debts, Monthly Income vs. Monthly Bills
If your debts are larger than the value of your assets or your monthly bills are greater than your monthly income, then filing bankruptcy can be a way out of a difficult and emotional situation. You are essentially “bankrupt” when you owe more than you can afford to pay. Filing bankruptcy can reduce your monthly bills so that you can afford to pay them.
The advantage to working out a payment plan with a counseling agency is that it doesn’t appear as a bankruptcy on your credit score. Such an arrangement, however, does not provide the same protection from creditors as a bankruptcy. Do avoid scams and be very careful with any company that says they can reduce your debt while requiring you to pay a large upfront fee. Fraud is rampant in the credit counseling industry. Never use an out of town credit counselor to arrange debt repayment. If you have already attempted to work out a repayment plan, you likely found uncooperative creditors. In that case, bankruptcy may be the best alternative.
Retirement Accounts and Personal Property … Don’t Worry
Federal bankruptcy law shields retirement accounts from creditors. Should you decide to file bankruptcy, you are allowed to keep most of your property, including your house and your vehicles. (Please refer to W M Law White Paper No. 3 for details).
Filing bankruptcy may not be the right solution for you, but if your debt is unmanageable, then it’s probably time to consider that option. Please feel free to call W M Law at any time, 913-422-0909, to set up a free, no-obligation, one-hour consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.