Overwhelmed By Debt? Act Today

It is an issue thousands of Americans face every year: a personal debt load that seems to be spiraling out of control. But, if you act as soon as you notice signs of trouble and seek appropriate professional assistance, there are several viable options that can help get you out from under a mounting burden of debt.

Debt Consolidation and Debt Settlement

Oftentimes, if you are in dire financial trouble, creditors would rather reduce interest rates or even forgive a portion of a loan balance rather than see you file for bankruptcy.

Debt consolidation involves compiling a number of loans into a single loan, usually in order to secure lower interest rates and payments. Reputable debt consolidation companies can help you consolidate debt and may even be able to discount the balance of certain loans.

Debt settlement is a somewhat similar process in which you and your creditor come to an agreement upon a reduced amount that will be considered full payment on a debt. While debt settlement can be a powerful tool, be wary of debt settlement companies: many make promises they cannot keep and leave consumers worse off if a creditor decides to begin collection proceedings in court.

To avoid the potential hazards of either debt consolidation or debt settlement, your best course of action is to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney licensed in your state before pursing either of these options.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy may seem daunting, but it is often the best debt solution.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what most consumers envision when they think about the bankruptcy process: it involves the liquidation (sale) of nonexempt assets to pay creditors and the immediate discharge of most types of debt. While it may seem undesirable to give up your valuable property, keep in mind that many possessions are exempt from Chapter 7 liquidation. For example, necessary clothing, household items, motor vehicles, and even jewelry up to a certain value can all usually be retained.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another popular option. A consumer who chooses the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process establishes a court-approved plan that lays out a repayment schedule over a term that usually lasts 5 years. Debts are consolidated, and often payments are lowered. After the successful completion of the repayment plan, many types of remaining debt may be discharged (significant exceptions include home mortgages, student loans, and tax debts). Chapter 13 not only allows consumers to retain personal property, filing automatically stops foreclosure proceedings and gives homeowners the opportunity to keep their homes.

Getting Help

Only you and your bankruptcy attorney can decide which avenue is best for your individual circumstances. If you feel buried in debt, contact an experienced attorney today to explore your options.