While for many people bankruptcy can provide financial relief, help stabilize the family, and get life back on track, it is not always the best option. Some people simply do not qualify for bankruptcy; others may find that bankruptcy will not allow them to achieve their goals. Fortunately, there are bankruptcy alternatives. A qualified lawyer can explain all options and whether they are applicable to a given situation and would be a better option than filing bankruptcy.
Know Your Options—Is Bankruptcy Right for You?
Before you consider filing for bankruptcy, you should know there are alternatives to bankruptcy. The options you can choose from depend on various factors such as income and if you have assets, as well as the type of assets you have. Depending on circumstances, one of the options you can consider instead of bankruptcy is a debt consolidation loan. Another option is debt negotiation and settlement.
There are two different types of debt consolidation loans, with one being secured by your home’s equity and the other one not secured by your home’s equity. If you decide to get one that is not secured by your home, then a company will loan you money, which will go towards paying off your debt. The consolidation company that lent you the money will receive one monthly payment from you, and they will also take care of the debts that you have with your creditors.
When you decide to consolidate your debt, you may be able to lower the cost of credit, and you might find it easier to improve your financial circumstances if you consolidate via a second mortgage or even a line of credit (home equity).
It’s worth pointing out that you would have to surrender your home under Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have more equity in your home than can be protected with your home exemption in Georgia. However, you may be able to keep your home if you decide to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as you may be able to create a payment plan. Thus, consolidating debt may be a good first option to explore, since it may help you get out of debt and keep your home.
Debt Settlement Negotiation
Discharging some or all of your debt may be an option, as can debt settlement in which you agree to settle your outstanding debts for an amount lower than that which is owed. Debt negotiation means negotiating with each of your creditors for a lower payment or a lower interest rate, in an effort to reduce the amount you have to pay them each month. Many creditors are open to this option because it ensures that they will at least get some payment rather than nothing. An attorney with experience and who knows what creditors are likely to accept is an excellent asset for anyone who wants to negotiate a settlement.
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