What Is the Best Advice If Your Credit Is Bad?

Many people find themselves in debt and more often than not, it is purely because they have fallen on hard times, not because they “have a problem with money”. I recently read about one woman who was left with the expenses of raising children with no help from their father who had left. She also had her mother and brother living with her, who were both unemployed and had to financially support them as well. She barely had enough money for food and basic essentials, so over the years, had accumulated debt through numerous ‘credit card increased limit offers’ and deals which she had been drawn into.

She was afraid. She didn’t have money to pay lawyers or debt counselors for their advice. She was afraid to answer the phone for fear of so many people she owed money to and even wondered whether she might be put in jail because of her debts.

Sound familiar?

Well the good news is, that there is no such thing as a “debtors prison”. It would not be in the interests of society to throw people into prison for misfortune. These are matters for the civil courts (if it comes to that) rather than criminal jurisdiction. This doesn’t mean that you won’t receive a court judgement against you and that a sheriff won’t come knocking one day, wanting to claim whatever he/she can of your possessions to offset the debt. But there are ways to avoid this also.

If your credit history is bad and you’re financially strapped, here is some advice that may help.

Firstly, compile a list of all bills and expenses you have. If you have credit card debt, summarize the balance, minimum payment amount and interest charges.

Now break your expenditure list into essential and non-essential payments. “Essential” means survival needs like food, electricity and rent or mortgage as the case may be.

Prioritise the “essential” things to be paid first. Anything left over can be distributed among the non-essential items. If a debt collector tries to harass you, don’t even think about using your survival money to satisfy them. The law is on your side here. If debt collectors become hostile or harass you, they are in violation of the law.

From now on, only spend money on essential things. If you have other people you’re taking care of beside children, they should be asked to contribute something towards living expenses. Or if not, perhaps they have a skill they can use to help save money (e.g. do repairs, mend clothes, run errands)? They may even be able to develop a hobby into a small money making venture, to supplement the family income.

Debt problems can be very stressful and if unresolved, make life a living hell. But you can take control by working out a plan and educating yourself about how the law works to protect your rights. Knowledge is power!

File Bankruptcy Under Supervision of a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy is a section in federal law that governs those laws and regulations pertaining to people who end up in so much debt that they cannot recover from it. This section of the federal law is designed to enable such people to recover from their debt and make a fresh start. This is done by giving them a longer time period margin in which they have to pay back all their debt and by even reducing the total debt amount by a certain percentage. All bankruptcy laws are distinguished from each other based on the chapters of the Bankruptcy Code in which they appear. There are a total of five chapters for all types of debtors and out of these five chapters three pertain to individuals. These chapters are Liquidation (chapter 7), Reorganization (chapter 11), and Reorganization (chapter 13).

Whether you are an individual or a business facing liens, lawsuits, repossession, wage garnishment, or foreclosure you should definitely hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help you solve your financial problems the efficient way. Finding a good bankruptcy lawyer is the first and most important step in this whole process. There are multiple resources that you can consult to find the perfect bankruptcy lawyer for you but always ensure that the lawyer you hire is from your area rather than any other area. This is because the laws and regulations differ from one state to another and only those lawyers who have been practicing bankruptcy cases in your area will be able to handle your case better. Therefore stick to the list of bankruptcy lawyers working in your state.

You can try getting a list of all bankruptcy lawyers working in your state from the yellow pages or through an online directory. Once you have tracked down a list run some preliminary background check to see which ones are the most reputed ones. The ones with most experience should be your first priority. Contact them and arrange for a free consultation session. If the lawyer does not offer a free consultation session then you should switch to someone else. These lawyers already charge a pretty high fee and since you are filing for bankruptcy it’s obvious that you do not have enough cash to just throw around. Therefore avoid the most costly lawyers and stick to the ones offering free consultation.

When attending your free consultation session always notice the lawyer’s habits. Lawyers who are keen about timings and are more organized can be trustworthy and reliable. Another important factor to look out for is how comfortable you feel with that person. Since you will be spending a great deal of time with that person in the future you need to ensure that the two of you click, understand each other, and you feel comfortable with him or her. Only then can you work well together. Always check out at least four or five bankruptcy lawyers before finally settling on one. Carefully planning all these things will help you find a good bankruptcy lawyer who will successfully take you through your case.

One last thing you should analyze is the size of the firm your bankruptcy lawyer is working for. Here the opinion of experts differs. Some people prefer hiring lawyers who work for really large and famous law firms whereas some people prefer hiring lawyers working for smaller firms. The problem often associated with big law firms is that they usually have so many cases lined up that they fail to give you the personal attention you need. On the other hand smaller firms have fewer cases and dedicate much of their time to it to ensure a strong name from winning those cases.

Tips For Finding the Best Bankruptcy Lawyers

Most of us know how stressful it can be to get behind on a credit card payment or student loan. Even those of us who are fortunate enough not to have had these experiences can probably imagine how difficult it is for someone going through this. Although it should not be taken lightly, bankruptcy remains a viable option for those needing a fresh financial start. Picking the best bankruptcy lawyers possible is an important step in reaching a light at the end of your financial tunnel.

The first thing you should keep in mind when looking for a lawyer is that some attorneys specialize in bankruptcy law. In most cases it is recommended that you find a lawyer specializing in bankruptcy, since lawyers that have a more general practice may not have as much expertise in your field. The new bankruptcy law has made things more complex, and attorneys have to work diligently to keep up with the latest developments and court rulings.

It is unlikely that a lawyer who has a general practice would be able to keep up with these developments. That’s why bankruptcy law firms are highly recommended if you’re looking for solid advice on the bankruptcy process. But how can you be sure you’re getting the best advice possible?

Many bankruptcy lawyers offer you a free consultation to discuss your case. They look at the details of your situation and then recommend whether you should declare bankruptcy. The problem with this model, however, is that the lawyer will not get paid unless you end up declaring bankruptcy (so there may be a conflict of interest).

For this reason, you may want to consider paying for your initial consultation. You simply pay the lawyer the normal hourly fee in exchange for an honest review of your circumstances. This can make it more likely that you’ll receive objective advice instead of just encouraging you to file for bankruptcy.

The one thing you definitely don’t want to do is try to go through the process by yourself. Going through bankruptcy without a lawyer is a pretty foolish thing nowadays. The law has become more complex, and you simply need solid legal advice to help you through it. However, getting your financial documents in order and learning as much as possible about the process can make your legal consultation go more smoothly and end up costing less.