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What to Look at When Considering Bankruptcy


If you're reading this, chances are that you are financially in trouble and someone has told you that you should claim bankruptcy -- Is that right?  Maybe you've charged too much on credit cards, lost your job, divorced or have medical bills piling up.  LISTEN UP - DO NOT (I repeat) DO NOT file a bankruptcy claim until you've read this, have done your research, and know the lasting effects.

There is Chapter 7 and also a Chapter 13.  Do you know the difference?  Both are very different and have different criteria, and not everyone can qualify.  However,  they both have the same long lasting effect.  Bankruptcy stays on your Credit Report for 7 to 10 years.  During that time it is hard to reestablish a good credit picture.  It’s not entirely hard to get credit; however, if you do, the finance charges will be through the roof.  You may not be able to get the credit you want or when you want it.  Seven to ten years is a long time!

In any case, if you believe this is the only recourse you have, be sure to seek out an attorney that handles bankruptcies and prepare your questions for him.  Make a list of all your bills (include everything on that list).  Ask for a free consultation and present him with your list of debts and your questions.  Some of them might be:

  • What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies?
  • Which one would I be eligible for, if any?  (Not everyone qualifies.)
  • Which debts will be wiped out?
  • Which debts will I still owe?
  • Is it required that I attend any credit counseling classes?
  • How long do they last?
  • Do I pay my own bills or do I pay them through the courts?

I could add to this list; however, I’m sure you’ll come up with questions of your own.  The main thing to keep in mind is not to take this road unless you have exhausted all other possibilities. 

Our Credit Counseling Department will take a look at your credit report, if you are interested, and advise you what can be done in your particular case.  Let us help you unlock the door to better credit.

Sharon Tucker

Credit Counselor & Dir. of Training



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