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Make 2010 the year of a debt-free life. Get started today.

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The New Year is a few days away. And without doubt, millions of Americans will welcome 2010 with grand hope, desperate to put 2009 far behind them, the year the Great Recession took hold of our collars and shook us into submission. Unfortunately, many Americans will greet the end of the 2000's first decade still in debt and financially directionless.

But that doesn't have to be the case.

Bankruptcy, despite all you may think you know about it, can make 2010 the year you really start over, the year things become as you make them, the year you regain control.

The federal government is reporting that with 2009's end, so goes the worst national economic era to strike the 50 states in decades. Much of this optimism, unfortunately, has failed to provide security. The talus is simply too loose, the slope too steep and the edge too precipitous for Americans to feel confident in the footholds being provided. Unemployment continues to shroud our workforce in a cloak of despair and frustration. All the positives can be too easily brushed off as temporary, government-designed band-aids that do nothing for long-term care and instead will soon peel off, exposing our credit card cuts and sub-prime avulsions to additional economic bacteria.

However, treatments are plentiful. And bankruptcy is one of them.

The bankruptcy process, when handled by a competent, established attorney, is a very respectable way to handle the stress and prevent the longstanding financial damage that un-attended-to debt can do to a family.

Most people who give thought to bankruptcy quickly brush it off as an escapist's tool; something the irresponsible do to cover their mistakes. Well, if you were to start asking around, it would take little time for you to uncover that most of those who have filed for protection are professional, educated and careful with their money. You will also find that things like sudden unemployment, medical bills and emergency life expenses do not discriminate. They affect everyone and if we were universally prepared for those types of setbacks, we wouldn't need the bankruptcy code.

Back in 1934, the U.S. Supreme Court established the need for a federal measure that could assist the honest debtor in repairing their economic wherewithal. That same year, an opinion was written on the matter that said:"(Bankruptcy) gives the honest but unfortunate debtor ... a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt."

A few years ago, the lending industry powered a major revision to the bankruptcy code called The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. Despite its title, it was designed to make filing bankruptcy more difficult. It was meant to perpetuate the stigmas and make people less tolerant of those who have to file.

The law changes included the "Means Test," which was designed to qualify a person for Chapter 7. If you made too much money, suddenly you are not eligible to file under the same guidelines as others. The questionable constitutionality aside, the law served to make the bankruptcy code that much more tedious and frustrating for people. Without question, it prompted many people to avoid filing altogether and made the protection of our established laws that much more difficult to obtain. But don't buy into the myths or the hype. For 99.9% of you, bankruptcy is still a valid option. And the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt know how to make the new bankruptcy laws work for you!

If you want 2010 to ring in on a positive note, don't do what you did in 2009. Let facts drive your decisions, not misappropriated stigmas and half-truths. It's your New Year, give yourself a reason to make it a happy one.

In North Carolina, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. 1-888-234-4181.

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