Many people who are experiencing financial problems consider bankruptcy as an option. Bankruptcy can have many benefits, such as discharging most or all of a person’s unsecured debts or preventing foreclosure on a person’s home. While these benefits can be significant, bankruptcy is not the best option for everyone. Some of the more common reasons that bankruptcy may not be appropriate or unavailable in a given situation include:
- Your financial issues are not sufficiently severe to justify a bankruptcy;
- You are ineligible to file bankruptcy because you have filed too recently in the past;
- You are ineligible to file for bankruptcy because you fail the means test; or
- You are part of a profession in which the existence of bankruptcy on your credit report may limit your professional options.
Fortunately for people who are having financial problems but cannot or do not wish to file for bankruptcy, there are other options available that can help improve the situation. Many bankruptcy attorneys also can help clients by providing other kinds of debt-relief services, including the following.
Negotiating with Creditors
While creditors would obviously like to collect on every outstanding debt in full, in many cases they are willing to work with debtors in order to ensure that they at least receive something. A debtor’s negotiating position with his or her creditors can be significantly improved once they are represented by an attorney. When a lawyer gets involved, creditors understand that their debtor is receiving legal counsel. As a result, they may become concerned that their debtor is considering bankruptcy, which means that they may not receive anything if they pressure the debtor into filing.
Challenging the Validity of Debts and Debt Collection Practices
Federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act(FDCPA) confer certain rights and protections to debtors. In many cases, violations of these laws may entitle victimized debtors to file a lawsuit against their creditors. Additionally, for people who have been the victim of identity theft or clerical errors on the part of creditors, the FCRA provides debtors the opportunity to challenge the validity of a debt, forcing the creditor to produce documents that verify that the debt is real and belongs to the debtor from whom they are trying to collect.
Challenging or Eliminating Garnishments or Liens
Many people who are in debt may have had their wages garnished or liens placed on their property. These encumbrances can have a significant impact on your quality of life and ability to dispose of your property as you wish. In many cases, an experienced attorney will be able to help reduce or even eliminate wage garnishments and may be able to have liens on your property lifted.
Contact an Experienced Debt Relief Attorney Today
People who are experiencing financial problems may have a variety of options available to them, including bankruptcy. Everyone’s situation is different, however, so your should have an attorney review your case in order to determine what course of action would be best for you. Contact a debt relief and bankruptcy lawyer today to discuss your case.