You’ve done it. After a long struggle with household budget issues, debt crisis, and some purchases that didn’t turn out as planned, you’ve decided to get your finances fixed once and for all. You are even willing to file a bankruptcy case if that’s what it takes.
As a bankruptcy attorney in Asheville, NC, I see motivated clients willing to take the necessary action which is going to help their families live in better housing, eat better food, get better healthcare, and control financial stress in their household. These are the type of people I want to represent as a lawyer.
Unfortunately, I frequently have to tell these hard-working, motivated folks that their recent actions made to cope with their financial crisis are going to make their recovery more difficult or that assets which have been squandered could have survived a bankruptcy case. I don’t like having to say, “Gosh, I wish you would have come and seen me a couple months ago.”
See a Bankruptcy Attorney First
Once you’ve decided to take action regarding your financial situation, make an appointment to see a bankruptcy attorney before taking any action. The bankruptcy code is complex, and seemingly simple transactions can be treated harshly by the Court. On the other hand, planning to spend down resources or do simple exemption planning can lead to wonderful results in bankruptcy.
Before Doing These Things
Paying back a family member. Preferential payments to ‘insiders’ (family members, business partners, etc) just prior to filing bankruptcy can be avoided by a trustee and lead to the wrong creditors ending up with the money intended for a loved one. On the other hand, paying back the same people with the same amount of money may be perfectly acceptable the day after you have filed a bankruptcy case. The idea for preferential payments is that all creditors of a similar class should be treated equally, but my clients rarely think of their family as being equal to credit card or mortgage companies.
Pay off or settle debts. Many motivated clients have used a tax refund or borrowed against their retirement accounts to raise money to pay off one debt at a time or to catch up on one bill at a time. Others have endured a failing debt settlement program before coming to see me and spent literally thousands of dollars in vain. It is frequently possible to keep that money in your pocket, or spend the same money on things which are needed to aid your recovery, with careful planning before a bankruptcy case.
Figure Out All Your Options
A bankruptcy lawyer has a wide array of options to get you a fresh start. What looks to you like a major problem may look to your bankruptcy attorney as an opportunity to save money as part of a bigger plan. Bankruptcy might not be the proper solution for you. Knowing just that simple fact can alter your course and propel you forward in a recovery. For those of you in Western North Carolina, I would be pleased to speak with you during a free, initial bankruptcy consultation.