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Lose Your Job? Five Steps to Get Back on Track

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While the current economic forecast is considered by economists to be less dismal than in past months, many of the same economists are predicting unemployment will stay high over the next several years—noting that recession-scarred employers are likely to stay conservative in their hiring practices even as recession-scarred citizens continue their search for a dwindling number of jobs. Recent unemployment figures show that North Carolina unemployment grew to 11.2% in the month of February.

So, what if you’re one of the unfortunate many facing job cuts or recently suffering from unemployment? Here are five easy steps to get you back on track when time is short.

Apply for unemployment benefits
If you lose your employment, now is the time to apply for unemployment benefits. While you may think it’s too late, (and it may be), put the decision in the hands of the unemployment office. And apply as soon as you can. Don’t wait.

Begin Your Budgeting
Initiate an accurate accounting of all necessary expenses, including your monthly debts and other potential income (e.g., part-time jobs, temporary employment, unemployment benefits, child support, etc.). This accurate list of expenses, debts, and capital will give you a new understanding of how much you have, how much you owe, and how much you can afford while you look for a new job.

Forge Ahead with a Forbearance
When you lose your job, it’s normally best to do all you can to “stop the bleeding,” eliminating as many deficits in your monthly budget as possible.  As a result, do what you can to get a forbearance on as many debts as possible by contacting your creditors, explaining your situation, and requesting a stop to your bills. Some may give you at least a 30 day forbearance on your debts, buying you precious time to plan your next best steps. But remember, get any forbearance in writing: it will protect you in the long run if your creditors later cry, “default.”

Drop Anything Considered “Decadent”
While you’re in the process of budgeting for your future and dealing with your current debts, it goes without saying that it is essential to “trim any fat” from your monthly expenditures. Whether it means foregoing major purchases over the holidays or simply passing on that morning latte, losing a job in this economy is easily the best way to simplify for a more financially sound fiscal future.

Sometimes You Can’t Beat Bankruptcy
If you’re a debtor who has lost their job it may be next to impossible to continue paying your debts and a 30-day reprieve ends quicker than you think. Debts mount; bills roll in; expenses remain; and all of this with little to no income infusing the process.

Every week bankruptcy attorneys continue to meet with dozens of people in financial distress due to these very employment woes.  In each case, these same unemployed people come into law offices feeling hopeless and at the end of their rope, perceiving no alternatives to their continuing fiscal problems.  Almost every time, however, it seems when these same clients leave these offices, they finally feel some sense of relief for the first time since the job recession started; they are reassured that the bankruptcy laws and the bankruptcy system offers them the possibility of a new start—at an affordable cost—and with it a financially viable and secure future. In short, bankruptcy relief ends worry and stress for many jobless Americans living on the financial brink.

If you are in North Carolina and receiving unemployment benefits, call a bankruptcy attorney today. The upfront fees for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be as low as $338.00. That's not much to get rid of all of your credit card debt. For reliable bankruptcy advice that you can trust, contact The Law Firm of John T. Orcutt. And to find out more about your bankruptcy options, visit The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt’s “Things to See and Hear” information.

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