One of the best things about New Year’s is the chance to start again.  While much good happens for each of us each year, there are typically many hard things that happen as well and New Year’s offers a way to put them mentally and emotionally “behind” us.  

Ironically, bankruptcy is much the same as New Years.  It gives you a chance to put the financial challenges behind you!  You’ve may have fallen behind with your creditors or are just about to. You’re anxious, trying to avoid thinking about it, angry that life is so tough, trying to build up the courage to face up to the realities. You wonder whether you really have any decent options and then how to figure out the best option and make it happen.

As we start the new year, I wanted to offer some basics about bankruptcy and how it could be an effective tool to give you a “new year” financially!

You’re financially in over your head. You don’t know what to do, or where to get help. To get started, you need 1) some general information and then 2) some personal advice.

1) General Information:

Everyone learns differently and so it is important to pursue basic information in a way that you learn it best.  Internet, books, question friends or family who have similar experience are all valid means of obtaining some general info to help get you thinking about whether you need to start over.

2) Personal Advice:

People thinking about bankruptcy can be reluctant to talk with an attorney for lots of reasons.   But often those reasons are false or misunderstood:

  • “If I see an attorney, he or she will make me file a bankruptcy”:   Attorneys are legally and ethically obligated to represent YOU, and to lay out your options honestly, in an understandable way so that YOU can make an informed choice. It’s not my job to make you do anything, certainly not to file bankruptcy. Certainly I’ll tell you if you do not qualify for any particular option. And I’ll advise you why I think certain options look better than others, and may even make a strong recommendation towards a certain option. But the choice is ALWAYS yours.
  •  “I’m not really ready to see an attorney yet”:  There is virtually no downside to getting advice early in the process and there are many ways to hurt yourself by getting it late.  It is extremely common for people to come in to see me after they have already acted (or failed to act) in ways that were against their best interest. If on the other hand they see me earlier than necessary, they still get good advice on what they should do in the meantime and they start a relationship with me in case they want to or need to help later.
  • “I don’t think I can afford an attorney, and I don’t even know if I need one”:  You may be able to file a bankruptcy by yourself, or take some other appropriate action, but wouldn’t it be good to find out whether in your situation you can or should do so? An effective attorneys job is to give you unbiased, straight talk about your options, including what you can do on your own, how much services would cost if you decide to go forward, and options about how that could be paid. There may be ways that you can afford fees that you did not expect.  Explore your options.

The beginning of the year offers a chance to rethink and plan how this year can be better than the last.  If that includes overcoming financial challenges, don’t hesitate to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to talk about how I can help you.  In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Here to help,  Catherine King.  530 221 2640