Bankruptcy has lost the social stigma with the latest recession

Don’t let a false negative stigma of bankruptcy keep you from reaching financial stability and a fresh start.

I believe that the negative stigma of bankruptcy is starting to change.
Maybe it’s the 1.4 million people that have found relief in 2009 through filing bankruptcy.
Maybe it’s the fact that business and the government seem to be bailing out financial institutions and companies that made far riskier descions than most of my clients could ever imagine.

Most people that I have found in need of bankruptcy are not deadbeats or people that want to defraud creditors and get out of contractual obligations, but are rather people who have fallen on hard times or been put in a postion where interest rates have risen to levels that making paying back creditors not feasible for their economic position.
You have to remember that people who have the advantage of filing bankruptcy and utilizing its benefits are people that have made good ecomomic decisions for most of their lives.
This is the reason they were able to get credit in the first place. I would say half of my clients have between 30k and 150k in unsecured debt at the time of filing. If you are behind on your payments you can imagine that paying 30% in interest on this kind of debt is going to keep you from ever reaching your economic goals and freedeom. Also, you wouldn’t have been able to get this kind of credit had you not made the right decision for a long time in your credit history.

There is no need to feel that you are taking advantage of a system or any other stigma that some people allow themselves to feel about filing bankruptcy. The decision can be hard to make, but everything after that comes easy and is only based on disclosure. Many people feel the need to justify why they are filing, but really it only comes down to whether you meet the requirements and if it’s a practical solution to your debt problems.

I find more people nowdays are looking at this as a business decision. Its like walking away from an underwater house when you know that renting would be cheaper and its going to take years before you build any equity. Until the banks realize that writing down principal on a mortgage is necessary for all of us to get out of the housing market mess we are in. I feel the same way about consumer credit card debt.
If these companies would reduce interest rates back to 10% or something reasonable, many of my clients would probably pay, but when forced you have to view this a a business decision to help your family and not let your emotions get the best of you.

We are part of a system and you do not have control of a lot of the factors.

Bankruptcy helps you regain control, get your fresh start and move forward to better days.

Frequently Asked Questions: Debt Consolidation in California
How does debt consolidation affect credit scores?

Initially, it might cause a slight dip due to credit inquiries. However, consistent payments can improve your credit score over time.

What is the difference between debt consolidation and debt settlement?

Debt consolidation involves taking a new loan to pay off debts, while debt settlement is negotiating to pay less than you owe. Settlement can negatively impact your credit score.

What are secured vs. unsecured debt consolidation loans?

Secured loans require collateral (like a house or car), usually with lower interest rates. Unsecured loans don't require collateral but typically have higher rates.

Is debt consolidation right for me?

It depends on your total debt, interest rates, credit score, and payment capability. It's suitable if you can pay off your debt within five years and secure a lower interest rate than your current debts.

Should I consider long-term financial planning?

Yes, debt consolidation should be part of a broader financial strategy including budgeting, cutting expenses, and building an emergency fund.

How do Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies in California differ?

Chapter 7 involves liquidating assets to pay off debts, while Chapter 13 allows debt restructuring over a set period, usually three to five years.

Can my spouse's bank account be garnished for my debt?

Bankruptcy laws offer protections against such actions, but specifics depend on individual cases and state laws.

How can I learn more about my options?

Consulting a California bankruptcy attorney can provide clarity. Firms like The Law Offices of Christopher Hewitt offer free consultations to explore debt relief paths.

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