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Canadian survey shows bankruptcy stigma is a problem

According to a report from an insolvency practice in Canada, there is a serious stigma that Canadians have with bankruptcy, to the point that most respondents were willing to do nearly anything instead of filing for bankruptcy. More than 2,000 Canadians were surveyed for this information, and many responded to the survey by saying they would rather work 10 hours of overtime per week for a year, or give up their cell phone for a year, or even sell their organs than seek professional help in the form of a bankruptcy.

Though this information may be different from country to country, the sentiment is likely the same. Bankruptcy is portrayed as this horrible step in any person's life. And yes, bankruptcy isn't a fun process that you look forward to. But it isn't the massive problem that many make it out to be. In a much more literal sense, it is a solution to a problem: your debt.

Don't underestimate the problematic potency of medical debt

Typically when people think about debt that overwhelms an individual, they think about credit card debt or a mortgage that is too much for the person to handle. Student debt is another common reason for someone to suffer serious debt, but of course that is a non-dischargeable debt that causes complications during bankruptcy proceedings.

There is another form of debt that causes a lot of problems for people, though it doesn't get the attention it necessarily deserves: medical debt. In many situations where medical debt becomes such a serious problem that a bankruptcy is required, the individual suffers  medical emergency that never could have been predicted.

Certain debts can't be discharged, so be ready for them

When people get into serious trouble with their finances and the debt piles up, many will eventually turn to a bankruptcy filing. This is a huge step in anyone's life,, and it can lead to many of their debts being discharged (through Chapter 7) or reorganized into a much more manageable repayment plan (Chapter 13). However, in either case, there are certain debts that people carry that can't be discharged through the bankruptcy process.

These non-dischargeable debts can cause problems for many people that are going through bankruptcy, and it is important to take note of any debts that fall into these categories if you are considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy specifically -- but even a Chapter 13 filing too:

5 famous people who declared bankruptcy

If you are like many people in Louisiana, you have severe financial problems. You may have lost your job, or your salary may be far less than what it once was. In the meantime, you may have accumulated substantial debt that you now find you cannot pay. You may be trying to make mortgage payments, car payments, credit card payments, payday loan payments and a variety of other payments all at the same time. Your money simply will not stretch that far, so you may be thinking about filing bankruptcy as a last resort.

However, if you are like many Louisianans in another respect, you may feel embarrassed or even ashamed at the thought of filing bankruptcy. You may think that it will mark you as a deadbeat, or at least, someone who cannot handle financial affairs. While this is understandable, you should not feel this way. Bankruptcy is not a punishment or cause for shame. Many famous people have filed bankruptcy and survived it quite well, with no loss of reputation or future earning power. Here are five of them.

Clearing up common bankruptcy misconceptions

We've written a bunch of posts over the last couple of months about the bankruptcy process and how there are some simple, effective steps you can take to progress through the filing. It is an intimidating process -- we can't deny that. Bankruptcy has a stigma and people will feel that on some level, even if they know that the filing will help them in the long run.

However, there are some downright lies and myths when it comes to bankruptcy that may make people avoid filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 even when they desperately need to. So what are some common misconceptions about bankruptcy, especially when it comes to the effect it will have on your life?

On consulting with an attorney prior to your bankruptcy filing

Over the last month, we have talked a lot about bankruptcy filings and why you shouldn't be afraid of the process. There are many steps you need to take in order to properly get through your current financial picture, but it can be successfully done. One of the most important things you can do when you are considering bankruptcy is get legal counsel. Bankruptcy is complicated, and doing it on your own is not advised.

We at McBride Law have been helping the good people of Alexandria, Louisiana for years with their bankruptcy filings. We can help you at every stage of the bankruptcy filing. Before your filing gets going though, a consultation will need to be done and there are some critical pieces of information you should bring to help you better understand your situation, and to help us provide the best possible counsel to you.

Explaining the automatic stay

Imagine that you have a mountain of debt that is causing you mental anguish and emotional pain. The stress of the situation cripples you at work, making it impossible for you to concentrate. Every time the phone rings you ignore it, because it's yet another unknown number from a likely debt collector. You don't even read your mail anymore because you're afraid of what notices you'll receive.

This is the life of many people who have serious debt, and we are here to assure you that you don't have to live this way. A bankruptcy filing can immediately stop the creditors that are harassing you and protect many of the assets that you hold near and dear to your heart.

Don't fear the bankruptcy filing

Filing for bankruptcy is intimidating, and one of the biggest fears that most people have going into the process is that the filing will ruin their life for a long time. There are obviously some serious matters that could be detrimental to you in the wake of a bankruptcy filing, but these are relatively short term issues. The long view is what you need to be focused on during bankruptcy. For your financial and personal well-being, a bankruptcy filing can be very helpful years down the line.

Of course, what this means is that in the immediate future, there will be some hurdles you have to clear. Your credit score is going to take a hit -- but that's normal. And, more importantly, it can be healed and corrected over time. With proper financial planning after a bankruptcy, your credit score can come back.

Recognizing illegal debt collection tactics

If you are like many other Americans, and you find yourself struggling to make ends meet and pay bills on time, you may find yourself on the receiving end of some unwanted attention from debt collectors. If you have ever received calls and communications from debt collectors, you probably have an idea of just how aggressive some of these people can be, but you do not have to suffer through harassing or threatening behavior.

While there are efforts debt collectors can make to collect on your debt that fall within their rights, there are also tactics some of them use that cross the line and break the law. For example, debt collectors may not lawfully:

Everything you need to consider for Chapter 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide a lot of benefits to the individual filer. As with all chapters of bankruptcy though, there are some downsides to filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Today, we would like to discuss the many different positives and negatives of filing for Chapter 13.

Let's talk about the positives first. The main benefit of Chapter 13 is the repayment plan, which though it will take a longer time to fulfill than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will also make it a bit easier to pay off your debts without losing critical assets. In addition, trustees that oversee a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be flexible with you, as they want to ensure the filer fulfills his or her repayment plan. Along those lines, if you do fulfill your repayment plan, your creditors aren't allowed to chase you down in search for full payment for what you owe.

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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