Bankruptcy is not a sign of failure. Bankruptcy is not an admission of giving up. In fact, when you decide you’re going to file a bankruptcy—in North Carolina or anywhere else—you’re taking control of your situation. So, if bankruptcy isn’t these things, then what is it?
What Bankruptcy Really Is
Bankruptcy is relief. Bankruptcy is an agreement between you and your creditors. And for once you have some control over the terms. The reason you have control is that you have rights in bankruptcy, granted under the federal bankruptcy code. They entitle you to relief in exchange for openness and honesty about your financial situation. If you have nothing to hide, you have a lot to gain.
I start most conversations with my clients by letting them know my goal is not for them to file bankruptcy. My goal is for them to get relief and to get back on track financially. Quite often bankruptcy makes sense as the most effective tool to accomplish this goal. It’s much more powerful than debt settlement and in my opinion it’s a more FAIR arrangement. After all, most clients have been paying their creditors faithfully for years before filing, only to barely make a dent in what is owed.
What About My Creditors
It’s amazing how many clients feel obligated toward their creditors. That’s because they are good people who want to live up to their promises. In this case, the promise to repay a loan or a debt. The fact is, when your creditor initially loans money, they are aware a certain percentage of those loans will not be paid back. And they build it into their profit model. Your creditors will be fine. Bankruptcy is a choice to shift the focus from your creditors to yourself and your family. What could be more important than that?
Chapter 7? Chapter 13? Do I Even Qualify?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of assets which are then distributed to creditors. The good news is it’s very rare in my experience to actually have any assets liquidated. The bankruptcy code provides protections or “exemptions” for vehicles, homes, household goods, business “tools of the trade,” and other items. Typically, clients can protect all of their belongings when filing a Chapter 7.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good option for clients who have too many assets to entirely protect, or too much income to file a Chapter 7. It represents a partial repayment to creditors and strikes a balance between having the ability to pay SOMETHING, but not having the ability to pay what creditors are demanding.
Finding A Bankruptcy Attorney
The key to a successful relationship with a bankruptcy attorney is to find someone who is available, knowledgeable, and understanding of your situation and your goals. Bankruptcy attorneys often break the stereotype we typically hold of attorneys. They practice bankruptcy law because they feel like they are helping their clients and they can help those clients experience immediate relief and a higher quality of life—all by following the rules of the bankruptcy code. Call 704.749.7747 today to find out more about bankruptcy and your options, or to get a referral to a great bankruptcy attorney in your area.