Your bankruptcy experience is not over when the court closes your case. Although your repayment is over and your debts are discharged, the bankruptcy will continue to impact your lifestyle in the years that follow.
Not all credit counseling agencies are created equally. Some are better equipped to educate individuals who are struggling with debt than others. Some are flat-out scams. If you are considering bankruptcy as a strategy for handling your personal debt, first educate yourself about credit counseling and how to find the right agency for you. During your first meeting with a credit counselor, ask the following questions to determine if he or she is the right counselor for you.
Is Your Agency Accredited?
When you are living with debt, the debt can easily become your “new normal.” Sometimes, an individual can live like this for years, not realizing that he or she can receive help with the debt through financial counseling, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy.
If one or more of the following apply to your life, you could be a good candidate for bankruptcy. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to receive help and advice with that decision.
Your Debt is Growing Faster than You Can Pay it Down
There have been many recent news stories published about bankruptcy trustees taking legal action to recover money paid to colleges and universities to satisfy their clients' debts. This is known as a clawback.
When you have outstanding debt, you often get calls from collection agents who are tasked with getting you to repay the money you owe. These people have a difficult job – it can be stressful to locate individuals with debt to hunt down the money their companies have the right to collect, whether they are the original lenders or they have purchased the debt from them. But sometimes, these calls can become unbearable.
When you are struggling with an uncontrollable level of personal debt, filing for bankruptcy is not an ideal outcome. However, it is sometimes the best outcome for your situation because it allows you to make the lifestyle changes you need to make to regain control over your finances and negotiate a fair settlement with your creditors. Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will work closely with the court to ensure that your rights are protected and your debts are paid.
In an earlier blog post, we discussed surf apparel company Quiksilver and the financial troubles that drove it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. One of the issues cited was the fading appeal of the surf and skate look, which dominated the late 1990s and early 2000s.