Should You Declare Bankruptcy? 3 Things You Need to Know

The decision to declare bankruptcy can be quite difficult; however, for many adults, it's the right choice. There are three important things consumers need to know before they decide to declare bankruptcy.

If you've been struggling to pay your bills on time, you've been living paycheck-to-paycheck, or you're about to lose your home, you may be looking for options that enable you to move forward with your life. One of the most common decisions consumers make is the choice to declare bankruptcy. This enables you to essentially start fresh and begin moving forward with your life. If you've been looking for financial freedom and you aren't sure where else to turn, bankruptcy could be a reasonable option. It's important to realize, however, that bankruptcy can be a complicated process. Here's what you need to know.

1. Bankruptcy can affect your future

When you choose to declare bankruptcy, make sure you're ready for what the future brings. This decision will greatly impact your future, but not only in a negative way. You'll have the freedom to move forward with your life without constantly worrying about making payments or dealing with collection agencies. You'll also be able to choose where your money goes in the future, rather than losing the majority of your paycheck to debt. Make sure you understand, however, that bankruptcy will impact your credit report. This can make opening credit cards or acquiring loans quite difficult. If you want to buy a home or a vehicle in the next few years, you may want to consider other options than bankruptcy.

2. Not all debt is erased

Declaring bankruptcy typically erases things like credit card debt. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you choose (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), you may still be required to make some payments on your debt. Similarly, specific types of debt, such as student loans, will still need to be repaid even if you declare bankruptcy. If the primary type of debt you've been struggling to pay is student loan debt, you may want to consider other options, such as refinancing or a different payment plan, rather than declaring bankruptcy.

3. There is often a social stigma

While the choice to move forward with your life is an important and valuable one, keep in mind that there is often a social stigma that accompanies bankruptcy. Make sure you're ready to deal with the social ramifications you may face if you declare bankruptcy. For many consumers, there is simply no other choice. Bankruptcy may be the only way to avoid complete poverty. It's important that you stand strong in your decision, regardless of what you decide. Understand that while some peers may judge you for your decision, what's most important is that you make a reasonable and well-informed choice that can help your family have a better future.

If bankruptcy seems like the right choice for you, don't delay. Meet with a bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the process, help you file the correct paperwork, and answer your questions about how to begin the next phase of your life.

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