Consider these three things before bankruptcy
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For some Greensboro consumers struggling with debt, the idea of filing bankruptcy is stressful – the notion may scare or embarrass them because they feel like it’s giving up or makes them a failure. In fact, bankruptcy is not an end, but the opportunity for a fresh start like you can’t get with any other debt relief option short of winning the lottery and having all your problems solved instantly. Since the odds are against that, if you’re drowning in debt, bankruptcy is a practical option.
The downside of overwhelming debt
Having excessive debt is stressful even if you’re managing to make ends meet. But living paycheck to paycheck and picking and choosing between bills is no way to live long-term. Not only that, but when you have more debt than you can reasonably afford, your work may suffer, as may your health and personal relationships. Plus, when all your money goes to servicing debt, you’re not participating fully in the economy, and that’s bad for everyone.
Even so, if you’re dead set against filing bankruptcy unless you absolutely must, here are three tactics to try and sort out your finances. If these fail, bankruptcy may be your best alternative.
#1 Talk to your creditors
The idea of speaking to the people to whom you owe money and can’t pay seems terrible. However, it should be your starting point. When you first realize you’ll miss a payment, even before you do, contacting the creditor may help. Auto and mortgage lenders may have programs to tack the payment you can’t make this month onto the end of your loan to give you a little break.
Of course, if your financial situation is perpetually problematic, this one-time boost is only a Band-Aid. If the lender sees you’re in financial distress, they may work with you to restructure your loan, drop your interest rate and lower your payments rather than you go into default. But you won’t know unless you contact them. Worst case is that they say no and you’ve lost nothing but a little time.
#2 Cut back on spending
Depending on how much you’re behind on bills, tightening your belt might work. You’ll be surprised how much you can shave spending if you try. Cut the cable or satellite TV first thing and quit eating out. Brown bag lunch and cook dinner at home - and shop off the sale and clearance aisles at the grocery. Stop buying clothes and wear what you have. There are many opportunities to reduce your budget.
Assess your spending that doesn’t go towards bills and categorize as "want" versus "need." If you don’t need it, cut it brutally from your spending habits. Living on a minimal budget now can get you out of a cash crunch and stabilize your finances. However, if your debt is wildly out of control, skipping Starbucks and the dry cleaner might not be enough to make a dent in your financial mess.
#3 Make more money
It may sound silly just to go out and make more money, but it is doable depending on your skill set and existing work schedule. If you’re tapped out on work hours, look at raising money another way. Check around your house and look at stuff you can reasonably sell like a spare tv, clothes you don’t wear, or even a second vehicle that can be sold and the money put towards your debt.
Also, consider side jobs. Mowing lawns, picking up extra hours at work, or a second job - or even freelancing on the side may be feasible. If you live with a partner and one of you is a stay at home parent, it might be time to forego that luxury and put them to work, at least until your finances are in better shape.
Bankruptcy may be better
If none of the above can relieve your circumstances, it pays to consider Greensboro bankruptcy. There’s no need to be embarrassed because no one should know unless you tell them. No one paints your name on a neon sign when you file bankruptcy. It’s public record, but only those with court business access the records, so it’s pretty inconspicuous regarding who will know you filed.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy gets you on a repayment plan to catch up your past due balances on your home or vehicle loan and reduce debts like credit cards and medical bills. If you qualify, Chapter 7 knocks out unsecured debt like credit cards, medical bills, and certain older income taxes within just a few months. It’s life-changing and not something to fear.
To find out more about the benefits of North Carolina bankruptcy, read reviews from our satisfied clients then contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Call 1-888-234-4181 now to schedule a free Greensboro bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.