Alternatives to Bankruptcy
Is bankruptcy the right choice?
At The Bankruptcy Law Firm, many of our clients are naturally curious about
their alternatives to bankruptcy when they initially approach us. If you
are struggling with unsustainable debt, you have some difficult choices
in front of you. While bankruptcy may be a viable remedy, there are always
alternatives to filing bankruptcy and it's important to weigh all of your
options so you can make an education decision about your financial future.
We have included several basic strategies for getting your debt back under
control. Since no two debtors' situations are identical, what may work
for one debtor may not work for another.
Reduce Your Overall Expenditures
If you have high credit card balances but can still pay your monthly minimums,
are you able to reduce your other expenses while paying your debt off?
Perhaps by making some subtle changes in your lifestyle habits, you can
carve away a good chunk off your credit card debt.
- Do you need to buy lunch every day?
- Do you need cable TV, or that $4.00 cup of coffee several times a week?
- Eliminate extravagant expenses and consider alternatives such as bringing
lunch to work, clipping coupons for groceries and buying clothing and
merchandise on clearance.
- Instead of paying for a babysitter, consider exchanging babysitting with a friend.
- Can you live without a second or third car? If so, sell it.
- Develop a realistic budget and stick to it.
Negotiate With Your Creditors
If you have some disposable income or have assets you're willing to sell
to pay off creditors, you may want to consider negotiating with your creditors
directly. This can be a time-consuming process which will involve speaking
with customer service representatives, writing letters and getting things
in writing but in the end you may get one or more creditors to agree to
settle on a debt for less than you owe. However, keep in mind that in
order to get a creditor to agree to accept a settlement, you will need
the cash in your pocket to make such an arrangement, and always be sure to get
everything in writing.
File for Bankruptcy
If you're already living within your means and have nowhere else to cut
back on expenses and your credit has already taken a big hit from having
too many late payments, or if you don't have access to funds to negotiate
with creditors, then bankruptcy may be your only and best option.
There are two main consumer bankruptcies, the
Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the
Chapter 13. In order to file a Chapter 7 you would have to
qualify based on income/expenses and assets. If your income is too high,
you will be diverted to filing the Chapter 13, which allows a debtor to
pay off a portion of their debts within a 3 to 5 time period and at a
monthly payment they can reasonably afford.
If you want to know if bankruptcy is right for you, contact The Bankruptcy
Law Firm at510-270-2782!
Our San Francisco
bankruptcy attorneys have
represented over 6,000 clients in their bankruptcy cases.
Our lead attorney, Rita Kostopoulos is a
certified bankruptcy specialist.
We have been named as one of the
Top 100 Firms by the Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF).
We can explain
life after bankruptcy and how rebuilding your credit can be realistically achieved.
Looking for a qualified bankruptcy lawyer in San Francisco? Read what our
clients have to say about us in our client testimonials!