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Filing for bankruptcy can be an overwhelming decision. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, it is one more than 1.6 million Americans made in 2010 alone.

It is important to remember — despite popular opinion — that filing for bankruptcy is not innately bad. Also, it does not mean the filer was financially irresponsible. Often, an unexpected event, such as a company shutdown or injury, can leave a person with insurmountable debt.

Whether you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves the liquidation of assets, or chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves a payment plan that restructures debt, this decision may be a step toward financial stability. However, you should be ready for the challenges that come with bankruptcy; these may include living without a credit card and following a strict budget.

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Many people assume that debt is inherently bad. The truth, however, is that debt and credit can be tools that allow individuals to live more comfortable, fruitful lives. Loans help people buy homes and attend college, and credit can help those who find themselves in temporary financial hardship. Unfortunately, poor financial management and unexpected circumstances can cause debt to spiral out of control. When this happens, bankruptcy might be a viable option.

Filing bankruptcy is a serious choice, but it is often a smart decision. If you are considering bankruptcy, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your interests.

Is Bankruptcy the Right Option?

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Posted on in Bankruptcy

Debt is a familiar reality to many Americans. However, contrary to popular perception, debt is not inherently bad. When people understand how to manage debt responsibly, they can improve their credit score and acquire loans. Responsible debtors have more opportunity when it comes to buying a home or starting a business. Unfortunately, unexpected circumstances can put debtors in a position where they cannot make payments. An injury or a natural disaster, for example, can produce steep expenses, and in these cases, one viable option may be filing bankruptcy.

Make no mistake: Filing bankruptcy is a serious decision and you should explore all available options. You should also consider discussing your alternatives with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who understands the laws and your rights.

Bankruptcy as a Debt Relief Option

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The allure of fast cash directly deposited into your bank account within 24 hours may sound appealing but as The New York Times recently reported, consumers should be extremely cautious when it comes to the pitfalls of signing on the electronic dotted line.

The article, citing data from the 2014 four part series, Payday Lending in America, facilitated by The PEW Charitable Trusts, a research organization dedicated to taking an analytical approach to improve public policy through advancements and dedication to civic life, found that the practice of payday loan advances were extremely detrimental and dangerous to the indebted American consumer.

Borrowing from one of these lenders may be found even more damaging to one's credit and bank account than if one opted to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and petitioned for debt protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Furthermore, Pew's report highly recommends the adoption of firmer regulatory guidelines by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to combat the complaints generated by unsuspecting consumers.

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Posted on in Bankruptcy

Stockton and Detroit have succeeded in emerging from bankruptcy filings, but other cities could have similar issues in the near future. These medium-sized cities in California and Michigan struggled with, among other things, an underfunded pension system. There was simply not enough tax revenue to pay these obligations. One observer called Illinois the “basket case” of pension cases. For a number of decades, The Land of Lincoln has relied on generous retirement plans to attract and retain workers at otherwise lower-paying jobs. When money started to get tight a few years ago, the state began borrowing against the retirement fund in order to pay for services. That action has resulted in a $111 billion pension deficit.

One out of every five dollars in the state budget goes to the pension fund. Even worse, 80 percent of that money goes to debt servicing.

Bankruptcy and Unsecured Debt

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