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The good and the bad of Chapter 13

As with any form of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 has numerous positive and negative aspects to it. The filer needs to qualify for Chapter 13 first, which has strict income rules, but if you do qualify for Chapter 13 and the repayment plan that it offers, it could make it much easier for you to achieve some financial balance in your life in the future.

Let's discuss some of the negative aspects of Chapter 13 first:

What is the timeline for a bankruptcy filing?

People who are considering or have filed for bankruptcy will naturally have many questions about the process. How do I file? What can I expect in the weeks that follow my filing? What new responsibilities will I have in the wake of a filing? What do the different types of bankruptcy mean for me? How can I best address the issues I will face throughout the bankruptcy process?

There are so many questions related to bankruptcy, so for today, let's tackle just one: the timeline of bankruptcy.

How to best put foreclosure behind you and move forward

Closing on a home is one of the greatest moments in some people's lives. They imagine having family and friends under the roof, and bringing babies home to the home. When financial hardship results in the foreclosure of a home, it can be heartbreaking.

Victims of foreclosure should not let that heartbreak last forever and ruin them for home ownership in the future -- if they want that again. Owning a home again is an option, but that option is possible through planning and hard work.

Don't let reality star's bankruptcy woes scare you

Some people associate a stigma with bankruptcy. Even those whose financial situations completely justify the need to file for bankruptcy can feel upset about going through the process. Why does the shame and stigma exist?

Perhaps it has something to do with some high-profile news stories we see about stars who file bankruptcy. While there are some celebrities and now successful business people who have gone through bankruptcy properly, there are those who give it a negative spin.

Debunking the myths of bankruptcy

Bankruptcy carries many stigmas with it. People view bankruptcy in a certain way and they have been conditioned to think of bankruptcy as the desperate last act of an irresponsible person. However, this is a myth. Many of the preconceived notions that people have about bankruptcy are actually untrue -- or aren't as severe as you may think they are.

So what preconceived notions are we talking about? Let's take a look at a few:

How Chapter 13 can help you keep your car

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be dealing with enormous stress. For many people in the Alexandria, LA, area, the ability to continue working and functioning ranks among top concerns.

Commuting to work, taking children to and from school, shopping for groceries - for most people, their car is an essential tool that allows them access to basic life necessities. The good news is that a Chapter 13 repayment-based bankruptcy generally lets you keep your car, unlike a Chapter 7, which requires you to sell off a non-exempt vehicle.

Why a foreclosure notice doesn't have to be the end

Bankruptcy can be incredibly helpful for those in debt. But we aren't naive -- it isn't a fun process. Going through bankruptcy can take time, while also taking an emotional toll on you. If you take the necessary steps and work hard at it, though, then you can come through the bankruptcy with an improved financial standing that allows you to start moving on with your life.

Before a bankruptcy filing, an in-debt individual is already at risk of losing many of their assets. Their car may be repossessed due to an inability to pay; their wages may be garnished; creditors may harass them and call them trying to collect on their debt; and, of course, banks will attempt to foreclose on your home if you can't keep up with the mortgage.

Ways to approach your credit card debt

Credit cards are tempting and devious tools. They seemingly offer "free" money, but of course that isn't true. It is simply that a credit card offers us the chance to make a big purchase when we don't necessarily have the cash on hand for it, delaying the moment when we actually have to pay the piper. This can lead to people making big purchases they can't readily afford, and it can lead to us giving in to our worst impulses -- impromptu buys and expensive purchases.

As such, it is important to fight these urges and tendencies. The best way to fight credit card debt is to not carry debt. Having a little bit of debt that you can safely pay off each month is healthy -- it builds your credit score. But consistently carrying loads of debt that you can't pay off is dangerous.

Foreclosure rates are down, but risk is still real for some

From a news standpoint, sources tend to group all states together in economic reports. Reports might say, "The U.S. economy is stronger than it has been in a decade." Or, as one recent report says, "The residential foreclosure rate has been below pre-recession levels since late 2016 and continues to fall..."

While that is great news, it doesn't take away from the reality that individual states and individual consumers face every day. If you, for example, are a Louisiana resident struggling to prevent foreclosure, not only does the above statement not apply to your situation, but it could also make you feel even more alone in your predicament.

You are not alone.

On bankruptcy, and how it can help you

Life rarely goes in a straight line. There are so many twists, turns and unexpected events that make life maddening -- and invigorating. But when it comes to your finances, the last thing you want is for unexpected events to disrupt your routine and financial stability. This could lead to bankruptcy, a disturbing word that can make many people shudder. It brings to mind quitting, or skirting out on your responsibilities.

However, this isn't the right way to look at bankruptcy. It is an important legal tool that helps people get out of an untenable financial situation. In fact, it is really a solution to a problem, as opposed to being a problem itself.

McBride Law Firm

McBride Law Firm
301 Jackson Street Suite 101
Alexandria, LA 71301

Phone: 318-625-0471
Fax: 318-445-8066
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