BANKRUPTCY QUESTIONS

WHAT IS PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY?

You often hear about personal bankruptcy as being the worst possible thing that can happen to a person financially. Personal bankruptcy can result from a variety of conditions, such as financial mismanagement or poor investments, job loss, divorce, and other situations that are sometimes beyond your total control. Bankruptcy is often thought of as being a measure that will limit all the things you can hope to achieve in your personal and professional aspirations. But the truth is that while personal bankruptcy is a very serious measure that does carry some long-term effects, it is also a voluntary acknowledgement of your debts and a step towards solving your financial problems.

Consider alternatives
Bankruptcy should be considered a last resort after all other possibilities for debt repayment have been carefully considered. If you are unsure what options are open to you, speak with your creditors. Creditors often have proposals that will let you handle your debts through an arrangement you might not have thought of. You should also realize that filing personal bankruptcy means you are obligated to reveal every single debt you owe; you cannot file bankruptcy on only a selection of your outstanding accounts.

Know the different types of bankruptcy
Bankruptcy law is meant to protect you from damaging measures and harassment, and then ultimately provide you with the chance to begin anew. Depending on your amount and types of debt, either bankrupcy chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy might suit you best. Chapter 7 entails a total liquidation of your assets when you cannot reasonably expect to ever meet the debts you owe, while chapter 13 allows you to re-organize debt and formulate a repayment agreement suitable to both your creditors and you.

Be informed of your rights and obligations
Both types of bankruptcy offer you several different measures to protect you from collection attempts, utility shutoffs, professional discrimination, and lawsuit. However, these protections are conditional upon your ability to meet obligations and guidelines set down by the bankruptcy courts. Consult with a legal authority to get a thorough explanation of both your rights and obligations.

Plan for the future
Personal bankruptcy does not have to mean that you will never again be able to enjoy financial privileges and opportunity. There are many different avenues in consumer credit assistance that address the special financial needs of people who have had to file personal bankruptcy, and you can take advantage of these programs to start planning for the future and get yourself back on your feet.

Personal bankruptcy can be a stressful experience, but if you have made the decision to file either chapter 7 or chapter 13, you should see these procedures as a responsible step in solving financial problems and making a clean start for yourself.

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