It's 2011. And Personal Bankruptcy remains your best solution for long-term personal debt Skip to main content

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It's 2011. And Personal Bankruptcy remains your best solution for long-term personal debt


Well, it’s a new year. 2011. Time to put behind the hassles and headaches of what was and time to think about what will be. Especially in terms of your personal financial situation.

Despite what so many had predicted, 2010 wasn’t much of a recovery year for America. The stock market saw some gains for the second year in a row. However, the unemployment conditions didn’t respond accordingly, perhaps making the connection between Wall Street and Main Street a bit more obscure. A rising tide, as it were, might not raise all ships.

That being said, what kind of decisions are you going to make about your future? Working hard to get yourself out of debt is certainly admirable. We encourage it. But there comes a time when using your federal rights becomes the best option. We're talking about the Bankruptcy Code, immediate protection for those who can no longer handle the stress, guilt and other forms of emotional strain that comes with long-term personal debt.

This year, think about all things you can gain from filing bankruptcy: A sense of relief. The chance to start building a new credit history. The self-assurance that you exercised a smart, legal strategy to resolve your financial commitments. You may even save a number of your personal relationships.

We should reinforce that there are indeed a number of alternatives to filing a Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 13 personal reorganization. You can attend debt counseling courses. You can sell many of your items yourself to raise money to pay your debts. Borrowing money from family could be a solution, as could tapping your retirement dollars and other investments.

Now look back on some of those “alternatives.” Any of them stand out as worthwhile? There are penalties for snatching funds from your 401(k). The IRS is especially interested in that kind of solution. Depending on your family situation, borrowing from a sibling or in-law could help, provided they have the amounts you need and you approach it from a “business deal” perspective. So now you are in a “business relationship” with family, which sometimes works. And other times, well, it doesn’t go so well. We’ll leave that up to you.

Debt settlement arrangements often results in a far worse situation, especially if you have to fork out up front fees to enroll in the program. What often happens is one creditor will decide they don't want to play ball, resulting in a lawsuit and a judgment, both of which a bankruptcy can stop.

If you file bankruptcy, you engage an attorney whose very job it is to interface with the court system and your creditors and remain beholden to the United States legal system. The paper-trail is easy to track, set in precedent and if you picked a good one, you’re known by name on the phone, not by account number. What's more, you're protected by federal law against further creditor harassment and potential lawsuits. This new year, you owe it to yourself to at least consider the bankruptcy option. In North Carolina, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt today for a free initial debt consultation. 1-888-234-4181.

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