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My Expereience with Bankruptcy and What You Can Do


I’ve been developing The Law Office of Ryan E. Simpson for many years and at this point, I felt it was ready to publish. My most recent experience with chapter 7 bankruptcy leads me to take on this project. Having experienced bankruptcy first hand, I collected a lot of information from my own research and decided to post it here in hopes that it will help educate others who are considering taking this route. 

I never had the courage to talk about it with family members. I really haven’t told but a couple of really close friends, and I was actually not planning on telling anyone at all except my wife, but it’s tough to hide. So if you’re also struggling and are considering this option, I hope the information here will help you decide.

My Bankruptcy Experience

Fast forward a few years and in 2007 after accumulating an unbelievable amount of debt in mortgages on properties that were quickly decreasing in value, I decided that I’d had enough so I started selling, but I was not able to sell them all and I still ended up with quite a bit of debt which I could not refinance. So bankruptcy became the only way for me to remedy all the unshakable debt.

Bankruptcy can happen to some of the most financially savvy and responsible people so don’t feel too bad if you’re going through it right now. After my own experience, I felt not only miserable but I really did not believe that there would be a way to get better after it.

It’s a constant struggle but it does get a little easier as you begin to discover legitimate ways of rebuilding your credit. Though it must a be an interactive process with you 100% involved if you’re to change your ways. 

The Law Office of Ryan E. Simpson focuses on the three major types of bankruptcy and is meant to only educate individuals on some of the most common aspects of bankruptcy. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about what bankruptcy is and what it does, so please keep up with the posts to find out more. It is my sincere hope that you find the relief you’re looking for.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy

When it comes to financial hardships, all cases are different. Some are going to be more severe than others and some people will be able to find alternatives. By now you know that bankruptcy should be your last resort.

Coming up with alternatives to bankruptcy when you’re stressed and losing sleep can be difficult so here’s some help. But outside of what is listed here, whatever options you believe are possible, research and apply all efforts to decide whether that alternative is realistic and feasible for you. The following are some of the most common alternatives:

Renegotiate with your creditors

This can be a successful bankruptcy alternative when dealing with unsecured debt, make them understand that if renegotiating is not possible, your creditors will lose all the money you owe them if you have to resort to bankruptcy.

This, as you know now, is the case with unsecured debt under chapter 7, it gets discharged at no further obligations to you. Secured debt, on the other hand, will be a little more complicated but still possible.

Your home lender or car financing company will know that they must wait around without your payments for months if you have to file bankruptcy. So they may listen to your plead but are more than likely going to try to take you through a refinancing deal, which could actually accumulate other costs. So careful there.

Debt Consolidation Services

This also could work out well for your unsecured debt, but not all debt consolidators work the same so you need to shop around. You must also be careful the terms of this deal, some debt consolidation alternatives will cost you more for the simple plan of grouping all your debts into one bill.

Many of these agencies can really help, but there are some that only pose as nonprofit organizations for debt consolidation, so do your homework and research them before you agree to anything. You must insist on better rates and this can be an excellent bankruptcy alternative especially if your credit is still in good standing.

Debt Reduction Lawyers

A lawyer would be much better at negotiating terms and rates for you, a creditor will likely respond better to talking to a lawyer than talking to you directly.

A lawyer can deal with every single creditor for you and help you take advantage of special provisions and hidden laws and tricks that creditors don’t like consumers to know, but are legal. Your local yellow pages book will have tons of listings for law offices that can provide these services.

Professional Credit Counseling

One of the most common services to consumers and not necessarily a bankruptcy alternative in all cases. If you don’t see the end near you yet, but you see the direction your finances are taking and are uncertain about what to do to avoid a collision, professional debt counseling could be what you need.

A professional credit counselor is going to suggest drastic changes in your financial routines. They’re not going to ease you into these changes, they will most likely be very straightforward about what needs to change. It is up to you enforce these changes and make this alternative work or you could, in fact, end up in bankruptcy

Other sources

Other sources of help may be possible, you may have volunteer groups in your area or perhaps your local church may be able to direct you on the right path. People in these groups are often able to help without charging anything if they offer services.

Church groups are often some of the best places to find help. Whatever option you choose, please take care not to simply borrow more money to repay debts, by doing this you’re simply shuffling dollars around to temporarily satisfy debts while accumulating debt in other areas, not really a good alternative.

Don’t let anyone talk you into taking out a line of credit on your home, especially if you’re dealing with unsecured debt. If you do this, you will have taken that unsecured debt and made it secured, against your property.

Most lenders will tell you this is a good idea. Their job is not to give advice, their job is to sell and they sell well because often people don’t know any better, so this is not a good alternative.

If none of these options seem feasible to you for whatever your circumstances, then it probably bests that you begin your bankruptcy process by first consulting a lawyer in your area. Get all the facts about your case. Again not all cases are the same, the conditions will depend on what you owe, what assets you have and whether you’re employed or not.

Hire A Bankruptcy Attorney

Consult with at least three different lawyers, most consultations are free and you’ll find that some lawyers are more personable and more sympathetic than others. To some you will be nothing more than another case number and others will treat you with more respect and dignity so don’t settle for the first interview. Learn more about my bankruptcy practice at http://markalexander.over-blog.com

Before you go to a consultation, make a list of questions before you make an appointment, ask questions often, educate yourself in the process and clearly understand what all of this will mean to your life.