Every day, people find themselves in trouble with debt. This happens for a number of reasons, not all of which are the fault of the debtor. For instance, 75% of bankruptcies that are caused by medical issues are by people with health insurance! There are things that happen that we cannot control or predict.
As many different reasons for having financial difficulty as there are, the path out of that trouble should be just as individual. While I specialize in bankruptcy as my area of practice, bankruptcy is not right for everyone. There are a number of different options I am happy to explore with you:
- Debt Negotiation/Workout: I serve as your representative to help negotiate settlements on your debts.
- Credit Counseling: Through the work of a reputable credit counseling agency, you craft a formal repayment arrangement with your creditors. Beware those companies that promise you instant relief, however.
- Mortgage Modification: Increasingly, mortgage lenders are willing to help you stay in your home by modifying the terms of your mortgage loan. This may be permanent or temporary, and can reduce interest, waive late payments and fees, and reduce your ongoing payments to make your house affordable again.
- Foreclosure: This is not the happiest option, but sometimes the best path to financial control is to simply give back a house that is too expensive for your income. Finding a less expensive place to live frees up your income. I can help facilitate this process.
- Short Sale: If the value of your home has gone down and you now owe more than it is worth, you may be able to get out of that house by sale, even if you don't pay off the mortgage in full. Once again, reducing housing expense is one of the easiest routes to financial relief. However, there may be deficiency or tax concerns with this option, so consult with a professional before agreeing to a short sale.
- Do Nothing: This option is often overlooked. Credit card companies and other consumer creditors have little power to damage your finances (other than your credit report) until they file suit and obtain a judgment. Even then, some people, like those on fixed retirement income, cannot have their assets garnished because of the protection of federal law. In the meantime, you can pay off the debts at an affordable rate. Some creditors will even write off the debt and stop pursuing collection. This does not mean to ignore your debts. You need to develop a plan, but sometimes doing nothing is the right strategy.
A note of caution: There are no shortage of Internet scam artists and other shady companies who claim to be able to fix your debts and your credit report. Be extremely wary of using these services. Most will simply take your money and disappear, leaving you worse off than before. Contact a licensed, local attorney before you make any decision of this sort, and never, ever conduct this type of business over the Internet.
Whatever the solution, be it a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, a workout or doing nothing, I can help you determine what path is right for you and your family. You can get out of debt and still meet your long-term goals. Call 816-866-5544 to set up a free initial consultation today.