What are the steps to filing or considering bankruptcy? – Wesbrooks Law Firm
Considering Bankruptcy?

Get the steps, interesting statistics and additional help if your interested in filing or considering bankruptcy

Considering Bankruptcy?You may think that filing bankruptcy is not right for you, but maybe you’ve got all of these bills that each month you are having a harder and harder time to pay.  Sometimes with bankruptcy comes this “stigma” of incompetence, or the idea of “just giving up”, however that is not true.  In fact, if you are even considering something along the lines of bankruptcy you’re doing quite the opposite of giving up or showing incompetence.

If you are considering help, whether it is to file bankruptcy, debt negotiation or even a long sit down in front of your finances to try to figure out a better payment plan, it’s a step in the right direction.  Doing this is not a sign of anything other than you care about your future and more importantly your financial future.

When to consider filing bankruptcy? Filing bankruptcy may be the only choice when you’ve been hit with an illness that has depleted your savings, or you’ve lost your job and paying those bills that were once a little easier to pay are just quite a bit more difficult now.  No matter your specific financial instance there are some easy steps you can take that will assist you in whether or not you should seek help filing or consider bankruptcy.

Let’s start out with what we mentioned earlier.  The key part of bankruptcy is understanding that you aren’t the only one out there that have filed bankruptcy and that you are not incompetent or just giving up.  In 2009 the United States had 300 million people living in the US and with that 300 million 1.4 million people actually filed for bankruptcy for that year.  With that information on average in 2009 one out of 212 individuals in the US filed for bankruptcy.  Now, in 2010 the filing for US bankruptcy actually rose 9% to 1.53 million.  In 2011, 1.5 million people filed for bankruptcy.  Overall, from 2008 through 2011 roughly 4 million plus consumers had filed for bankruptcy, so when we say that you aren’t the only one possibly considering bankruptcy we’d be right.

A few other interesting bankruptcy information statistics:

  • According to a study published in 2005, 46% of all bankruptcies were actually related to outstanding medical conditions.
  • Statistics also show that bankruptcy occurs more where states are more lenient with their wage-garnishment laws where the creditor directly receives (actually, we’d consider it take) money from your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paycheck.
  • In 2011 the states with the highest bankruptcy filing rate were; Nevada, Georgia, Tennessee, Utah, Alabama, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. While the District of Columbia, Alaska, South Carolina, Vermont, North Dakota, Texas, South Dakota, Montana, North Carolina & New York were actually the states with the lowest filing rate.

With this data you know you’re not the only one going through a tough time.  Now, that you have some interesting statics about bankruptcy and considering bankruptcy, why don’t we explain some steps that may help you next in your decision.

Step 1: The first step in determining whether or not bankruptcy is right for you is to sit back, look at your current financial situation.  Do you have bills that are late?  Are you having a harder and harder time keeping up with the bills that you are trying to pay?  Are your bills higher than your current income?  As we mentioned earlier whenever you lose your job and find a new one, you may be working yourself towards higher wages, but it may be months or years before you can be at a place that makes you financially secure.  Typically these would be the major factors on whether you’ve started considering bankruptcy.

Step 2:  Find some resources and if you are able, try to negotiate better terms on your payments yourself.  Sometimes this can be a grueling task such as finding the time to call or walk in to speak to your creditors.  This may also mean that you will be on hold for long periods of time.  But, the main idea here is ask whether you can push your payment date to a better day of the month to make your car, credit card, mortgages, etc. payments a little easier.  Sometimes just moving your payment date from the 5th to the 15th can help you keep more food on the table for you or your family.  If you want a great resource that may help you, purchase the print or ebook version of Mark Wesbrooks “The Debt Relief Playbook” where Mark explains in detail what it takes to get out of debt yourself.  There are other authors out there too that have some great reading and research material.  Use the keyword “Debt Relief” to find books related to your situation.

Step 3: If step 2 has come to no prevail than, the best choice may then be filing bankruptcy.  There are bankruptcy options for individuals, just like you! Like we had mentioned earlier from 2008 to 2011 over 4 million Americans filed for bankruptcy.  Don’t worry about the stigma of filing bankruptcy, but focus more importantly on your future.  If you’ve called your creditors with little to no success then speak to a qualified Board Certified in Creditors Rights Attorney.  What bankruptcy should I file? There are many bankruptcy services out there, but you really want one that knows the law, because the law could very well help you when you file.  You also want an attorney who will be honest with you, give you the right information about your potential bankruptcy, the in’s, out’s and everything in between.

Step 4:  Know your stuff!  The key whenever you have considered whether or not bankruptcy is right for you is to have what you need readily available.  That way you stay organized and ready to go through any of it at a moment’s notice.  One of the major time consumers is looking for all of the paperwork and brainstorming about your current debt.  Some major pieces of paper and documents that you’ll need are bills, statements, bank account information, hospital bills, student loan debt and your overall total debt accumulated.  It’s actually best if you have all of this around prior to visiting any debt consolidation or bankruptcy attorney.  This information is literally key to really understanding your specific financial situation and it gives the person helping you exactly what they need to make an educated decision on your case.  Plus, they will ask you all of those questions anyways so rather than you having to go back and forth you’ll have what you need the first time.

Still considering bankruptcy?

There are many more steps to deciding whether bankruptcy is the right solution for you specifically.  If you are still on the fence or just want to know more about bankruptcy, many law firms offer bankruptcy services offer free consultations.  Our firm, although we offer a multitude of services, The Wesbrooks Law Firm is one of those companies that also offers free consultations when considering bankruptcy.   The managing attorney, Mark Wesbrooks is Board Certified by the American Board of Certification.  He maintains credentials for Creditors Rights Law, is a sustaining member of the American Bankruptcy institute and is licensed to practice in law ALL Courts both in Arizona and Texas.  You can learn more about Mark Wesbrooks and The Wesbrooks Law Firm on our about us page.

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The Wesbrooks Law Firm, PLLC has a broad service area with locations in both Arizona & Texas. Our Attorneys serve Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Peoria, Tempe, Chandler, Avondale, Glendale, Prescott, Paradise Valley, Tucson, Flagstaff, Maricopa County, Yavapai County, Coconino County and Pima County. Please visit our website concerning our services we offer in Austin, Texas. Disclaimer: The information provided on www.wesbrookslaw.com is not legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by the use of this website. IRS Circular 230 Notice: To the extent that this website concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.