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Drowning in Debt

*Ran in January 2012 in a local newspaper, Yes We Can.

DROWNING IN DEBT?
WANT A FRESH START IN 2012?
THINKING ABOUT FILING BANKRUPTCY BUT TOO EMBARASSED?
DON’T BE!

The current economic environment has had a negative impact on many individuals and families. Events such as: loss of a job, reduction in work hours, and business slow down have caused many to suffer financial hardships. When faced with the choice between paying credit cards and buying food, the credit cards don’t get paid. Before you know it, THE BILLS ARE TOO MUCH AND YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!
Well, there is an answer. Consider filing for bankruptcy. Yes, I said bankruptcy! Federal laws govern bankruptcy and a fundamental goal of the bankruptcy laws is to give debtors a “fresh start” from their burdensome debt. The bankruptcy discharge accomplishes this goal by releasing the debtor from personal liability for discharged debt. Once a debt is discharged, creditors are prohibited from trying to collect the debt. It is important to note that certain debts are not dischargeable such as: most taxes, student loans, family support orders, property settlement obligations, government fines, and court fees.
Two of the most common bankruptcy chapters filed by individual consumers are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is available when debtors are having financial difficulty and cannot afford to pay their existing debts. When the debts are primarily consumer debts, the debtor must meet a ‘Means Test’. The Means Test determines whether the debtor should be allowed to proceed under a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7 certain property may be exempt, which means the debtor gets to keep the property.
Chapter 13 is available for debtors who have a regular source of income and want to repay all or part of their debts in installment payments over a period of time. For debtors behind in their mortgage, Chapter 13 is preferable because under an approved plan debtors can keep their house. The payment plan must be approved by the court before it can take effect. Chapter 13 is also available to debtors that do not meet the Means Test under Chapter 7.
After serious consideration, bankruptcy may be a viable path to a fresh start in the New Year!!!

Please be advised that the above statements are not legal advice and should not be interpreted as such. For further information on bankruptcy contact: Linda A. Lindsey, Attorney At Law, Lindsey Law 3200 Guasti Rd., Ontario, CA 91761, (909) 801-7388; email: LindseyLaw4u@verizon.net