When you’ve gotten in over your head with credit cards or medical bills are piling up, you may think that filing for bankruptcy is your only way out. Bankruptcy is meant to be a last-resort option but there are certain situations when filing may be your best bet. Here are 4 signs to help decide if filing for bankruptcy is the right decision for you.
You’re being sued by debt collectors
If you continuously fail to make payments on a debt, there is a good chance it will get turned over to a collection agency at some point. Leaving debt collectors’ phone calls and letters unanswered may result in a decision to file a lawsuit to try and force you to pay. Fighting debt collection lawsuits can be difficult. Filing a bankruptcy petition offers complete legal protection against debt collectors because until your bankruptcy case is either discharged or dismissed, you can’t be subjected to any additional collection actions or lawsuits.
Your wages are being garnished
Depending on the state you live in, debt collectors may decide to freeze your bank account or garnish your wages in order to get the money that is owed. If there is a court order for a wage garnishment, your employer is required by law to hold back a certain amount of money from your check each pay period until the debt is paid. Filing for bankruptcy halts the garnishment, which can provide some financial relief if a large amount of your pay is being withheld.
You can’t pay your bills
If you find yourself turning to credit cards to cover everyday bills, you may quickly find yourself in debt. Even keeping up with minimum payments on your debt may prove to be a struggle. If your income has taken a serious hit due to circumstances out of your control such as a job layoff or unexpected illness, you may be a prime candidate for bankruptcy protection. Speak with a professional to determine if filing for bankruptcy would be a good option for you in this situation.
You’re in danger of losing your home
If foreclosure is becoming a possibility due to your financial situation, filing for bankruptcy can help you catch up on your payments and keep your home. In some cases, filing for bankruptcy enables you to keep your assets and create a plan for repaying delinquent debts. As long as you’ve paid outstanding balance on your mortgage and continue to make regular payments going forward, you can hold off the foreclosure proceedings. The bankruptcy court offers a mortgage-modification program.
Filing for bankruptcy is a life-changing decision that should be taken very seriously. Often times debt can be resolved by simply budgeting. However, if your finances are spiraling out of control, it’s important to carefully weigh the option of filing for bankruptcy.