Rarely does anyone think about filing for bankruptcy unless things have gotten a little out of control. You may be getting harassing calls from creditors from strange numbers, you may have collection lawsuits against you, and you may be facing wage or bank account garnishments. Through all of this, you may be telling yourself that things will turn around – I just need to get a raise – close that deal – or something unexpected will happen. You may also be telling yourself that you have some time until things get really bad, and that you will address it when it’s actually a problem.
Unfortunately, the reality is that waiting on filing for bankruptcy until things are bad or hoping for things to turn around might not be in your best interest. As times goes on, you may be facing increased interest payments and other penalties, such as late fees, that can make paying back more difficult. Also, you may be on the hook for attorney’s fees if a lawsuit is brought against you as many contracts provide that the person who owes money has to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees. Additionally, creditors may have already reported the debt to credit bureaus, and that can affect your credit score and may make getting a loan or mortgage more difficult and/or expensive, if not impossible.
If you are wondering when the best time to talk to an attorney is, chances are that time is now. An attorney may be able to look over your financial situation and give you a realistic perspective on what you can expect and provide advice on how the debt can affect you. An attorney can also determine if creditors are doing anything illegal, as there are many laws that protect people that owe money from nefarious creditors. Having that peace of mind can be a huge weight off many people’s shoulders, and can also provide a realistic timeline for how to address your debt. An attorney may be able to negotiate a payment plan that works for you. If creditors do not accept it, an attorney can advise you on whether filing for bankruptcy is a good option, and can help you plan for it in way that works for you.
If you are uncertain whether or not to call an attorney, it is likely worth the effort to schedule a consultation to simply talk about the options that are available that may be able to help you.