Bad things happen to good people, and that’s merely a harsh fact of life. Furthermore, when bad things happen, they almost always have a financial impact and sometimes lead to financial ruin. Filing bankruptcy isn’t an ideal solution for getting out of financial problems, but there are times when it’s the only legal recourse for getting out of debt and getting a fresh start.
The bankruptcy process is long and fraught with formalities. However, once the process is over, you can begin rebuilding your American dream. In the meantime, here’s some advice to help you make the most of this difficult situation.
Consult a bankruptcy attorney.
It’s vital that you seek professional legal advice when you begin the bankruptcy process. Even though your case won’t see the inside of an actual courtroom, this is not something you want to do yourself. The implications of the bankruptcy process are both legal and financial, meaning not hiring legal services could cost you a lot more than just money.
If you’re looking for a law firm in the state of Alabama to handle your bankruptcy case, you can find some of the best attorneys and firms in the area by Googling “bankruptcy law Birmingham.” Asking your friends and family is also a great way to find law firms with years of experience handling cases like yours. The last thing you want to worry about as you go through the bankruptcy process is the quality of legal services you’re receiving. Do your due diligence so you can have peace of mind that your attorney is working hard to protect and further your best interests.
Learn and prepare for each step of the bankruptcy process.
Even though you’ll have legal counsel to guide you through the bankruptcy process, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process as well. Getting insight into the process enables you to put forth a plan of action and make preparations for each step.
Part of the process is taking classes to help you make better financial decisions in the future. You have to receive these classes from a certified credit counseling agency. However, you don’t have to wait to begin your classes to start learning. Study on your own and be intentional with your attention in the classroom. Bankruptcy is an opportunity to erase your debt, raise your credit score, and become financially literate. Take advantage of all those opportunities.
Develop better spending habits.
As we mentioned in the previous section, filing for bankruptcy affords you the opportunity to become financially literate. Indeed, you can use this process to change the culture of money management (or mismanagement) in your family. You don’t have to stop loving exotic cars if that’s your thing, but maybe you can find salvage cars for sale and rebuild them rather than springing for a Land Rover or Porsche on the showroom floor. With work, your rebuilt car can run like new, but you will have paid for your luxury vehicle in time and sweat rather than money you don’t have.
Bankruptcy isn’t an ideal situation for anyone, and it’s a situation to approach with caution. Once you finish the process, you can get off to a fresh start financially. There is no guarantee that all of your debt will be discharged, but it’ll likely be more than enough to make a significant dent in your financial obligations, enabling you to pay what you still owe.
The most important thing to remember is that you need an attorney to guide you through the bankruptcy process. Inaccurate or unfiled paperwork could lead to the bankruptcy court dismissing your case and may even amount to fraud. Hiring a lawyer will cost you now, but it’s a wise and necessary investment. Once you make it through the bankruptcy process, the road to recovery begins with learning to manage money more intentionally.