Bankruptcy is not a last chance; it’s a fresh start. The misconception is that you are giving up or taking a handout. For others, it’s just another step to take financially after a lost job or losing medical coverage. In fact, those are two big reasons for filing bankruptcy. Let’s see why, and go over the other reasons you might have to file bankruptcy.
No Health Benefits or Inadequate Benefits
The biggest reason many file bankruptcy is not because they are misusing credit cards. Quite often it’s something about of their control: getting sick or hurt and having no health coverage. You might have some coverage, or your spouse may have some coverage, but not enough to cover the bills. Then you get an $80,000 bill in the mail, and you are out of options. In this situation, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can save you financially.
Loss of Job
Jobs are growing as of 2010, but job loss is still a major fear for many of us, and it’s logical a bankruptcy might come after. However, you may still have some money coming in with unemployment. Bankruptcy is not always your only option; you may be able to improve your spending habits or sell some valuable items before you have to file.
Maxing out Credit Card
Yes, the the dreaded impulse buy, the new car you shouldn’t buy, the spending hundreds every day on clothes or expensive jewelry. However you max out your credit cards, it’s a road of trouble financially. Bankruptcy can discharge the debt in many cases, but you need to change your spending habits before you lose more.
Some use their home equity to pay for new additions on the home, but really can’t afford to make the payments, especially if another expense or bill comes in. Be weary of adding to your home or using credit loans for unnecessary items. It does not mean you cannot ever do this; you may want to save or be paid better before using home equity or your credit.
No Backup Plan
All too often, individuals and families have no plans for a sudden medical bill or job loss. You should, for example, consider having several months if not half a year worth of income from your job saved. Easier said than done, but better than the alternative of losing your job and then losing everything.
Not Paying Off Credit Cards
Instead of paying the interest on your credit cards, pay them off or pay higher amounts. It may make you tight for some time, but it will help your credit, save you money, and make it possible to avoid bankruptcy if you lose your job or have a sudden bill.
If foreclosure is on the horizon, that’s a sign something definitely is wrong financially. Bankruptcy can actually be a smart option here, namely Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where you can stop a foreclosure before it starts.
Bankruptcy is an option for any of these reasons. You may, for example, have no backup plan and are left with thousands in bills you cannot pay. You may be close to foreclosure and want to save your home. If you’re at these points, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.