Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”
While the economy has recovered somewhat since the “Great Recession” and housing market crash of 2007, millions of Americans are still struggling to pay the bills. For starters, health care costs have drastically risen in the last decade as prescription medication and premiums seem to double in price every few years; fewer Americans own homes now than they did before the housing crash; and the median net worth of families today is just $97,300, which is 30% less than the average in 2007, which was $140,000, according to Vice News. If you are worried about your gloomy financial state of affairs, you should consider talking to an attorney about your best options for getting out of the hole in which you are currently stuck. Filing for bankruptcy could be the right move, or it could seriously jeopardize your future. A Charlotte bankruptcy attorney will be able to provide you with assistance today.
Before you file for bankruptcy with an attorney, you may want to consider all other options. Bankruptcy will harm your credit score, make it hard to get a mortgage in the future, and may require that you give up some or many of your personal possessions, depending on the type of bankruptcy that you file. An attorney will help you consider the following:
- Cutting costs. If you rent, can you move to a less expensive apartment or house? Have you already cut out spending on superfluous items such as fancy coffee, eating out, and happy hour?
- Find other ways to increase your income. This could potentially include renting out a room in your home, asking for a raise, or taking on another part-time job;
- Ask for financial help from friends or family members;
- Sell off some of your property, such as a car or other valuables; and
- Refinance your mortgage if you are a homeowner.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will erase your debt in a short period of time, though it sometimes requires giving up some of your personal belongings. However, there are some exemptions that keep your property in your hands, and an attorney will be able to help you determine what property is eligible. Not everyone is eligible for Chapter 7; if you earn less than the median North Carolina income, you may likely qualify for Chapter 7. If you have the means to pay off your debts, but only if you are given extra time to do so, you will likely benefit from Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows you to not only keep your belongings, but pay off your debt over a period of three to five years.
Contact a Lawyer Today
The passionate Charlotte bankruptcy attorneys at the office of Arnold & Smith, PLLC assist clients who are struggling to keep up with mounting bills and wake up every morning finding themselves deeper in debt. If you need a way out, do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We want to guide you through the bankruptcy process so that you can begin toward a better financial future. If you are contemplating bankruptcy in the Mecklenburg County, Iredell County or Union County area, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704-370-2828 or find additional resources here.
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