Friday, January 14, 2011

Why File Bankruptcy?

Why should I file a bankruptcy?  For some, the question might elicit a "duh . ." response. As in, "Why should I file a bankruptcy?."  "Duh . . .to get rid of your debt."  (Shrugging, head-shaking and eye-rolling are optional).

But seriously . . . a lot of my clients ask me this. It usually stems from a sense of wanting to do the right thing, which usually includes paying your creditors. And while that is a good and moral and appropriate goal, for many people it just is not a feasible goal. Even making your best effort and paying the minimum payments each month, even one credit card with a $6,000.00 balance can take years . . .YEARS . . .to pay in full. Multiply that by three or four or even eight and, unless you are still not old enough to drink, your grandchildren might be paying that off some day. Okay, I exaggerate. A bit. The point is, if you have so much debt that, realistically, you will be paying and paying and paying and never hopping off that treadmill for the forseeable future, bankruptcy should be something you are considering.

Ask yourself questions like these:  is it possible to completely pay off all my debt over the next five years just paying the minimum? Is it possible to pay it all off in about five years if I doubled the minimum payments? Can I afford  to consistently pay out $                  regularly while covering all ordinary and necessary expenses? If you can reasonably see this happening; if you can see fitting regularly monthly payments into your budget over the next five years; then you may be able to avoid bankruptcy.  If, however, you cannot see yourself being able to do that, it is probably time to consider filing bankruptcy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bankruptcy: Lets Get Started!

The main purpose of this blog is to provide consumer bankruptcy information.  I am an attorney in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and I practice primarily in bankruptcy and family law. In the course of my bankruptcy practice, certain questions seem to come up more frequently than others, so, with this blog I hope to address and answer them.

It probably goes without saying that bankruptcy is a huge and difficult step for most people to take.  No one likes to feel as though they're shirking responsibility by not paying their bills. No one likes to feel like they're just giving up. But most of my clients are on a debt treadmill, running and running and never losing any weight . . . never catching up and certainly never getting ahead.  Bankruptcy is, for many people, the best and most viable solution.

But because it is a big and intimidating step, and because it can seem like a complicated process, I want to try to help clear up some of the mystery and answer some common questions for anyone who might stumble upon this page. (Of course, if you found my website and clicked on the blog link . . .YAY!! And thanks!)