Part of my job as a bankruptcy attorney is to explain all options to potential clients. Although I believe bankruptcy is a very positive step for many people, I do not ever want to try and convince a client to file when their heart is not in it. First, that’s bad for my business. Second, it goes against the very reasons I do this type of work (click here to read about that). My job is to inform clients about different strategies, and then the client makes the decision on which one to use.
One strategy is to do nothing. If you have debts, and cannot make payments on them, you will begin to get letters and telephone calls from your creditors demanding money. When ignored, those creditors can pursue a judgment against you. Judgments last for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10. If you own a home, the judgment will generally attach to your home and must be paid before you can sell it. If the creditor can find your bank accounts, they can attempt to levy those in order to get their money.
The bottom line is that if you own stuff, and do not file for bankruptcy, that stuff could be at risk if you are in debt and can’t pay. Part of my job is to work for clients to try and protect their homes, cars, and other assets from creditors. Many people in Western North Carolina think that bankruptcy is about giving up their property. Often, the opposite is true… it’s about protecting their stuff in addition to their discharging debts.
If you have any questions about bankruptcy, do not hesitate to contact me.