[COLUMN] How bankruptcy helps when you’re stuck in debt

MANY people find themselves in the position of facing overwhelming debt, with constant calls from creditors and no apparent way out. For some, job loss sent them into a downward spiral, and they are now unable to pay their bills and meet their obligations. For others, a recent divorce or costly medical emergency drained their resources, leaving them in a very difficult financial situation. Since the pandemic began, one-third of small businesses have closed permanently. A lot are still struggling trying to keep their doors open, barely making enough to cover payroll and other business expenses.

In situations like the above, bankruptcy can be used to turn your situation around before things get any worse. Unfortunately, a lot of people are fed all kinds of misinformation about bankruptcy and so they don’t even try to find out whether it’s appropriate for their situation. They may have heard that bankruptcy will only make their situation worse and/or that if they do file bankruptcy, it will take them forever to rebuild their credit. Sadly, some of this misinformation also comes from well-meaning friends and family who just tell you what they have heard from others, without verifying whether such information was even true or not. So, what often happens is that people who need help so badly end up doing NOTHING for fear of making a mistake.

The important thing to remember is that no one solution fits every situation. Your financial situation should be carefully evaluated by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can help you understand the options you may have available. By doing this, you can make an informed choice in taking the steps needed toward financial recovery. As a bankruptcy attorney, I always see people who have been stuck in their financial suffering for years because of their inaction- when they could have acted much sooner before draining all their financial resources to keep their head above water. For example, I see people tap into their home equity, savings and retirement plans for quick cash to pay bills but end up filing bankruptcy anyway when the funds run out. The bankruptcy exemptions allow you to keep most assets, and it doesn’t make sense to deplete what you have if bankruptcy is inevitable. You can do much better by planning in advance if bankruptcy is a possibility for you, so that you can protect everything you have worked so hard for.

Debt problems can happen to anyone and finding out what your legal options to resolve them now rather than later will give your more options in the long run instead of waiting until your situation becomes a financial emergency. I understand that being in debt can be overwhelming and it can cause a lot of sleepless nights and constant worrying about the future. But things don’t have to be that way. There is no shame in filing bankruptcy if that is what you need to do to start over and provide a better future for yourself and your family. That is what the federal bankruptcy laws are for- to help people who can no longer help themselves. If filing bankruptcy is not advisable, it is also sometimes possible to negotiate with creditors directly and pay them a reduced amount. For example, once an account is 180 days late, I am often able to negotiate settlements for 30-60% of the original amount. This can be a win-win situation for all parties involved especially when creditors realize that they would rather get paid something instead of nothing if you were to file bankruptcy.

* * *

NOTE: Due to virus safety concerns, I am offering free consultations BY PHONE OR VIDEO to anyone who needs help in dealing with their debt problems. 

* * *

None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation.  Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped over 5,000 clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call RJB Law Offices at TOLL FREE  1-866-477-7772.

                (Advertising Supplement)

 

The Filipino-American Community Newspaper. Your News. Your Community. Your Journal. Since 1991.

Copyright © 1991-2022 Asian Journal Media Group. All Rights Reserved.

PRINT EDITION ONLINE