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If you are dealing with debt, deciding to file for bankruptcy may be the best decision for you. At Blevins & Hong, P.C., we understand how daunting it can be to deal with your finances and we are prepared to work tirelessly to provide you with the supportive guidance that you need in finding the solution that is best suited for your personal situation. It is important to remember that bankruptcy is not for everyone. While it can be the exact financial tool that you need to get your finances under control, it is extreme and it should not be considered lightly. Should you contact a bankruptcy attorney from our firm, we will be able to help evaluate your situation and discuss your legal options. Then, we will be able to weigh all of the pros and cons of the possibilities to ensure that whatever you choose, it is something that will bring positive repercussions.
Before you decide to file, there are several steps we will take and questions that we will ask. The first will be contemplating the actual consequences of the bankruptcy. For all of its benefits (of which there are many), it's just a fact of life that bankruptcy also has some drawbacks. For example, it is a negative mark on your FICO® score and will likely cause a considerable drop. Yes, it can absolutely be worth it in the long run to get your life back on track, but if there are other alternatives which could be just as beneficial, they should be considered first. Maybe you can get control of your finances through simple budgeting. If you can correct your debt by implementing a strict budget and reining in your expenses, you should absolutely do so before making the decision to file for bankruptcy. If another alternative would be able to have an equal positive affect your fiscal stability, it is in your best interests to pursue it before turning to bankruptcy.
If, however, these are not viable options, we will then move onto the next step - which will be determining whether or not you are even eligible. For certain chapters there are varying levels of eligibility requirements. For example, if you are interested in filing for Chapter 7, you will need to pass what is known as the means test. This is a series of questions which will weed out those who don't truly need Chapter 7 to sort out their finances. This will consist of looking at your expenses and disposable income, as well as comparing you to the median income in households of your size throughout the state. Should you pass the means test, you will automatically be considered to be eligible for Chapter 7. In cases of Chapter 13, it is a little simpler. To be eligible for Chapter 13, your debts need to be less than the following:
After determining the best chapter for your case, you should consider what debts will and will not be discharged, what will happen to your property and the future of pensions, IRAs and 401(k) accounts. This is something that is best done by talking to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. At Blevins & Hong, P.C., we know it can be a confusing time when you are facing the possibility of filing for bankruptcy and we want you to know that we are here for you in every possible way. If you would like to discuss your case and your legal options, please do not hesitate to contact a Marietta bankruptcy attorney from our firm as soon as possible.