Choosing to file for bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelmingly large decision to make. On average, it tends to affect a person’s finances and your credit score for seven to 10 years.
But, there are plenty of lasting advantages that come with this choice. Here are the pros and cons to consider.
Because filing is such a daunting decision, it would be wise to wage the adversities below. Some disadvantages associated with bankruptcy include:
- Exempt and non-exempt property and assets vary state-by-state. The bankruptcy court will often seize your property and assets that do not clear for exempt status to pay back your creditors.
- Credit card companies will often cancel the debt you owe them once the court grants your filing, but you will have trouble obtaining new cards due to your poor credit score.
- In addition to credit cards, you will have trouble gaining approval for the following: mortgages, personal loans, tax refunds, certain jobs and housing.
- Under certain bankruptcy terms, student loans, tax-related debts, child support, alimony and federal or local fines cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.
- You can only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years.
Depending on your situation, filing for bankruptcy is your best choice. Some advantages include:
- Relief from creditor harassment. It’s called the automatic stay. Creditors will no longer be able to send your debts to collections or repossess your property.
- Filing can also prevent eviction, foreclosure, and wage garnishment
- Due to exemptions, some filers go through the bankruptcy process and keep all their property and assets. As mentioned above, exempt and non-exempt assets vary state by state. This is one area of bankruptcy where a bankruptcy lawyer can be extremely beneficial.
- Bankruptcy forces you to improve your financial acumen.
Credit counseling, which teaches you tips on how to manage your money, is a required step for both personal filing options; Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. This is a beneficial step for debtors to ensure your filing isn’t discharged due to poor financial choices throughout the life of your bankruptcy process.
When considering bankruptcy, consider a bankruptcy lawyer who understands and can guide you through the intricacies of filing. They can also help aid you in deciding which filing option is best for you.