Bankruptcy and Its Alternatives

Of course there are cases when bankruptcy remains the only possible solution for your debt management. However, bankruptcy has several negative consequences, which are difficult to improve. Bankruptcy may remain on your credit file for up to 10 years, making it more difficult to obtain loans for anything from mortgages to auto loans.If you firmly stand by your decision to file for bankruptcy protection, you should hire a reputable bankruptcy attorney. The best way to do this is by the recommendation of a colleague, friend or family member. Your first appointment with the bankruptcy lawyer will be one that will require tedious preparation. You will make the most of your time if you can gather all financial statements on everything from your current loans, credit cards, medical bills and any other outstanding debts. Have a list of concerns ready to discuss with the lawyer and make sure that you feel comfortable with the given explanations for these questions. Remember, you have hired them and they work for you–do not settle for good enough.However, bankruptcy may not be the best solution for your financial issues. There are several alternatives to filing for bankruptcy. Contacting your creditors and debt consolidation are two options available to you.Contact your creditors to let them know your current financial status. In some cases, lenders and creditors will not work with you until you begin making late payments, however, if you have not made any late payments as of yet, do not hesitate to try this tactic. They may be willing to settle on the account in order to collect a fraction of what is owed instead of risking not being paid back at all.Debt consolidation is a good idea if you still have money to work with and want to try and make the most out of what you have. In this situation you will make one monthly payment to one company who then will send the payment out for you to several different accounts that they have negotiated lower interest rates and thus lower payments on. You will be able to pay these accounts off more quickly this way and save money at the same time. Be careful though before you sign any contracts with a company that offers this service. Often times verbiage gets added on the credit report stating that your accounts are included in a debt consolidation program. Lenders look at this verbiage as extremely negative. You may want to ask about this before beginning the program.Whatever option you choose, think thoroughly about the consequences that it may have on your future and how it will help your current situation. Make sure to read contracts entirely and pay attention to all small print. Most importantly, you must feel comfortable and be able to accept your decision for what it is.

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