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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Dec 30, 2015

It’s tough to keep a clear head when you’re in a difficult financial situation. If you have lots of debt, you may be continually pestered by bill collectors and have very little hope of pulling out of it. You may be considering bankruptcy as a solution to getting your life back together. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if now’s the time to file.

Is there any other way to get money for your bills?
Finding a second job is not the ideal way to spend your weekends, but the extra income could help you catch up.

Do you have a budget that you’ve been sticking to?
Especially now that there are budget programs out there, you can start to become more aware of where your money’s going and get more involved in the process.

How temporary is your crisis?
This is an important question when you’ve just lost your job. If you qualify for unemployment or have decent prospects for finding a new one quickly, bankruptcy may be too rash. Also, when filing for bankruptcy, courts will consider your last six months of income to determine if you’re eligible in something called a “means test.” Even if you don’t find another job right away, it makes more sense to wait a while before filing.

How much can you negotiate with your lenders?
Many lenders will work with you as long as you communicate with them. You could get lower interest rates or adjustments to your payment plan if you tell them you’re considering bankruptcy. Credit card companies are especially willing to negotiate, since they stand to lose the most.

Are you using credit cards to buy necessities or to pay other credit cards?
If your debt payments are eating up your paycheck, causing you to incur more debt to buy groceries, you’re in a pretty vicious cycle. Again, negotiating payments could be an easier solution, but if you’re suffocating with no hope of it letting up, bankruptcy could be the best option.

When deciding whether or not to file, or when to file if you’ve already decided to move forward, it’s important to speak with an attorney who understands bankruptcy laws to make sure your filing date is properly timed. As a result, you could recover more quickly and keep as many of your assets as possible throughout the process. For more information, schedule a consultation today.