Considering Bankruptcy? Millions of people every day are faced with the never-ending struggle and burden of debt and trying to manage that debt. As overwhelming as this task may become it is important for those experiencing this type of situation and who are over their head to know when to say when.  There are viable solutions and debt relief options available and bankruptcy is a powerful tool to help manage and/or eliminate debt.  Some things you should know about bankruptcy is that it increases your disposable income, because it can dismiss and completely alleviate you of certain qualifying debts so you no longer have to pay them back, giving you more money at the end of the month to start rebuilding your life again. It also stops those constant harassing phone calls from creditors and collection agencies, giving you more peace of mind when the phone rings.
Despite the misconceptions and false claims that the big bad "B” word is the worst thing that a person can do, that could not  be further from the truth for those that are struggling to make ends meet, or living from paycheck to paycheck to pay down interest  on balances and debt that doesn’t seem to decrease but rather remain the same. Bankruptcy may indeed be the only and best option for those struggling to save what is left of their financial existence. In other words, there comes a time when we all must stop throwing good money after bad debt!
Bankruptcy exists to help wipe the slate clean and give you a fresh start in life. There must be an epiphany or awakening that enough is enough. No more paying for the mistakes of the past and living in guilt for some of the bad decisions that were made to get you into your current situation.  Forgive yourself… bankruptcy can be an option for you.

Other important considerations are that it stops garnishments, again increasing your overall disposable income, and in some instances allows you to recoup up to 90 days worth of garnished wages if it’s at least $600 dollars. Other things that can be included in a bankruptcy are utility bills, medical bills, judgments, credit cards, driver responsibility fees, and even some federal tax garnishments, and more. Bankruptcy laws vary according your state of residence and must be filed within the state of your residency, so it’s important to seek proper consultation from a reputable bankruptcy attorney in your area.
Begin Again........To "B" or not to "B"?

The first step in restoring your good name is to get to the source of the bleeding. Once the bleeding is stopped we can begin to see our way clear as to what needs to be done next. If you are overwhelmed with debt and can’t manage it, and it’s affecting your credit thereby affecting your quality of life, let Integrity 1st Financial Services help stop the bleeding. Let's take a look at some frequently asked questions......
"How do I know if Bankruptcy is right for me?"
In its simplest form, bankruptcy is for either eliminating or managing your debt, depending upon what your goals or needs are in life are. Here are some things to look for when deciding to file bankruptcy that will give you a better understanding or indication if it is indeed right for you.

  • If your quality of life is being affected because you can’t afford your living expenses and it’s causing you to go under, you may want to eliminate some debt.
  • If your debt is manageable but you need just a little more assistance to maybe help you so save more money, you may just want to consolidate or restructure your debt to lower your overall monthly expenses.
In either one of these scenarios' bankruptcy can be a definite option.  Contact Integrity 1st Financial Services and let us point you in the right direction.
"Do you have enough money at the end of every month to maintain your lifestyle?"

If the answer to this question is no, you may want to consider some things. The first thing that we would recommend is that  you cut all unnecessary expenses, and even those that you might deem necessary but that you can live without, such as cable, certain entertainment expenses, or other leisure activities that add to your monthly expense total. For instance, if you have a cell phone bill that is $150.00 per month, it may behoove you to try to find another carrier that provides the same service for less. After all of this is done and you still can’t see a way out or see any significant increase in your disposable income you may want to consult a bankruptcy attorney.
"Are your wages being garnished by a creditor?"

If this is you, and you can afford your current lifestyle even with the garnishment, then bankruptcy may not be an option for you. But if your living condition is being adversely affected because of a garnishment and you can’t maintain, there is no need to keep sinking when there is something that you can do about. You may want to at least consult a bankruptcy attorney to consider your options.
"Is there a minimum amount of debt required in order to file for bankruptcy?"

While there is no minimum amount of debt an individual has to have in order to file for bankruptcy, there is a very important factor that needs to be considered.  When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and it has been discharged, they will not be eligible to file again for another 8 years.  With that being said, you will want to make sure that this is something that absolutely must be done for your current situation and that it is the best option.  It is important that you do not act prematurely and file bankruptcy for a small amount of debt that could have been easily managed or overcome with a few lifestyle changes, so when the time comes that you get in a real financial bind and need to file for bankruptcy for debt relief, that option is still available for you giving you one more arrow in your quiver for managing you debt. 

"What is the difference between at Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 bankruptcy?"

Although there are several different kinds of bankruptcy options that exist, these are widely the two most common types of bankruptcies to help consumers manage their debt. Some differences are as follows:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Cannot exceed income requirement to be eligible
  • Can be filed only once every 8 years
  • Completely dismisses or absolves an individual from all their qualifying debt
  • Items such as car, house and other things will likely have to be returned to the creditors
    - Will be allowed to keep or redeem such items as car or house if payments are current
  • Typically takes 3 - 5 months to complete

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • No income requirement
  • Can be filed as often as you need to
  • Consolidates and restructures an individual's secured debt obligations. 
    - Lowers monthly expenses or overhead
    - Eliminate some unsecured debt such as credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, etc.
  • Items such as car, house and other things can be kept.
  • Typically takes to 36 - 60 months to complete

"How long do I have to wait after bankruptcy to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a home?

The waiting period for VA and FHA is 2 years after the date of discharge, and for Conventional 4 years.  These time frames are subject to change at any time with the addition of new laws and statutes. There other factors that will affect this time period such as if there was a mortgage included in the bankruptcy, or if an individual has reestablished his credit worthiness since the bankruptcy, and many other factors as well.  There is life after bankruptcy! Contact an Integrity 1st Financial Services consultant today to see if for your questions about bankruptcy!