6 Tips For Avoiding Bankruptcy

tips for avoiding bankruptcyThe proliferation of credit cards and the “gotta have it now” American lifestyle have lead to a problem: for many Americans, living with debt is par for the course. In many cases, debt spirals out of control until filing for bankruptcy appears to be the only way out.

Most of our clients are regular, hard-working people who simply had a bump in the road. Whether it was the loss of a job, reduction in wages, or an accident, a single speed bump on the road of life can really send you in a different direction.

Once you start living on credit and spending more than you can afford to pay off, the debt multiplies quickly until it seems like there’s no escape.

The best advice we can give when it comes to bankruptcy is to simply avoid the situations that could lead to bankruptcy in the first place. These 6 tips can help you stay on a solid financial foundation and avoid bankruptcy:

1. Pay off your debt over time

If your debt isn’t too far beyond your control, sit down and take a look at how much you owe. If you can re-adjust your budget and stick to a plan, you might actually be able to pay down your debt on your own.

2. Sell some assets

If you’re like most Americans, you probably have lots of “stuff” that you don’t really need. Instead of hanging on, sell off the items you can live without to get some extra cash to pay off your debts. You can sell furniture, jewelry, or even electronics.

3. Ask creditors for help

The credit card companies would rather get something from you than nothing at all. Call your creditors and let them know you’re struggling to pay your bills. You might be able to lower your monthly payments or even decrease your interest rate. It’s important to stay responsible if you go this route – you’ll have to be sure to stick to your plan and pay off your debts.

4. Ask friends or family for help

It might be embarrassing to let your friends and family know about your struggle with debt, but a bit of moral support can go a long way. If your loved ones know that you’re trying to stay on the straight and narrow, they can help you avoid temptation. You won’t have to put on a show so that everyone thinks your financial situation is problem-free.

5. Live within your means

We’ve said this many times before – you simply can’t spend more than you earn. Credit cards make it far too easy to spend money you don’t have. Avoid the temptation and adjust your spending habits, and don’t buy things you don’t need.

6. Set a budget and stick to it

The single most important tip for avoiding bankruptcy is to set a budget – and stick to it. Obviously, a budget won’t matter if you’re not going to follow it. You’ve got to look at how much money you bring in, how much you spend, and what’s left over. Include your payment plan for paying off your debts.

By |January 26th, 2017|Bankruptcy, Debt, Personal Finance|0 Comments

5 Tips to Lower Your Debt

5 tips to lower your debt

Sometimes, we talk to potential clients who are surprised when we tell them that bankruptcy might not be their best option. During every free consultation, we map out the financial picture for a potential client, then walk them through every available option.

Many times, people are overwhelmed by their mountain of debt. Someone told us recently that they felt like they were trying to dig a hole using a single chopstick. Even though it feels like a lost cause, many times you can avoid bankruptcy by using one or two of these tips:

1. Talk to your creditors

It never hurts to ask for a little help. Hopefully, you know everyone that you owe, but if you’re not sure, pull your credit report. Make a list of everyone you owe, and how much you owe each institution. Figure out how much you’re able to pay each one. Call each company you owe and tell them that you want to pay off your debt, but you’re only able to afford a certain amount. Sure, debt settlement will go on your record – but it’s better than not paying anything and letting your debt continue to spiral out of control.

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By |January 31st, 2016|Bankruptcy, Debt|0 Comments

7 Tips for Saving Money and Avoiding Debt

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As we’ve mentioned in the past, the easiest way to avoid bankruptcy is to avoid accruing debt in the first place. Millions of Americans live with thousands of dollars in debt, and a single bump in the road like a car accident or the loss of a job could send them spiraling towards uncontrollable debt.

The sooner you form responsible spending habits, the sooner you’ll build a solid foundation that will help avoid the possibility of bankruptcy. If you follow these 7 simple tips, you’ll be able to save money and avoid accumulating debts that you struggle to pay off.

1. Plan all of your meals

Eating out is the biggest monthly expense in most households. If you plan all of your meals each week and cook at home, you’ll save money – and you’ll probably eat healthier as well.

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By |August 28th, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt, Saving Money|0 Comments

What happens after bankruptcy?

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One of the most common questions we hear from our clients is “So – what happens AFTER bankruptcy?” Most people are so caught up in the overwhelming debt, the collection calls, and the possible repossessions or foreclosures that they don’t take the time to think about what will happen once bankruptcy gives them a fresh start.

At the end of your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, you receive your discharge. Now that your financial troubles are settled, it’s time to move forward. You’ve got to start rebuilding your credit and forming solid financial habits that will keep you debt-free.

Keep a copy of your paperwork handy

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes creditors might try to harass you to collect on a debt, even after it’s been settled by your bankruptcy case. Even though they can get in serious trouble, it does happen every once in a while. If you’ve got your paperwork handy, it’s easy to stop them cold with your discharge.

Make sure your credit report gets updated

A few months after your discharge, get a free copy of your credit report and check it out. Sometimes it takes a while for the report to get updated after your bankruptcy, but it SHOULD show that each debt included in your discharge is listed as “discharged in bankruptcy.” If you find any that still show that you owe, you can send a copy of your discharge and the schedule that shows the debt was included in your bankruptcy case. (more…)

By |July 28th, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt|0 Comments

Rapper 50 Cent Files For Bankruptcy

50 Cent files for bankruptcy

In case you hadn’t heard yet, rapper 50 Cent has filed for bankruptcy in a Connecticut court. While the Internet has been making punchlines for the last few days since the news broke, most people don’t seem to know the details of the case.

50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, filed for Chapter 11 protection immediately after losing an invasion of privacy case last Friday. He had posted a sex tape on his site with his own audio commentary, and was ordered to pay $5 million in damages.

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By |July 20th, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt, Personal Finance|0 Comments

Is Chapter 13 Right For You? [VIDEO]

Bad things happen to good people all the time. If You’ve hit a bump in the road and you’re struggling with overwhelming debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the answer you’ve been looking for. Our latest video walks you through the basics of a Chapter 13 filing – we can stop collection calls immediately, save your home from foreclosure and your vehicle from repossession.

Call us today at 214-760-7777 for a free, no obligation debt consultation.

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By |May 28th, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt|0 Comments

How Will Bankruptcy Affect Your Income Tax Refund?

The most common question we hear at this time of year is “What will happen to my Income Tax Refund if I file bankruptcy?”

IF you’re filing for Chapter 7, it’s likely that your refund will be protected, as it’s considered an asset. IF you’re filing during tax season, your attorney can work with you to be sure you’re maximizing your refund. Many times, we encourage clients to file when they get their refund, as this extra money can be put towards the cost of your case.

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By |March 26th, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt, Money Management, Videos|0 Comments

Eliminate Income Tax Debt With Bankruptcy

eliminate income tax debt with bankruptcyIt’s tax season again, which means we’re getting more questions about income taxes and tax debts. Many times, we talk to clients who’re already struggling with overwhelming debt, and the possibility of additional debt to the IRS is incredibly stressful.

The government tightened bankruptcy laws in 2005, but in many cases, it’s still possible to reduce an income tax debt. You’ll definitely want to meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can explain your options and any possible relief you might be able to achieve.

If you’re already being audited, a bankruptcy proceeding won’t stop your audit. It will, however, stop any collection action while the bankruptcy is pending.

If you didn’t file a tax return (or if you didn’t file several), you’re not allowed to discharge any of the debt. Before you file for bankruptcy, your attorney must prove that you filed your four most recent tax returns.

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By |March 18th, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt|0 Comments

Is Chapter 7 Right For Me?

If you’re like most Dallas area residents who are struggling with debt, you’re wondering how you’re going to catch up – and if possibly, bankruptcy might help you. Many of our clients call us because they’re not sure how bankruptcy works, or which chapter they should file. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will walk through your financial picture, then explain your various options.

If you’re curious about Chapter 7 bankruptcy, our latest video explains the primary difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you think that Chapter 7 might apply to your situation, please call us – we’d be glad to help get you the fresh start you deserve.

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By |January 30th, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt, Videos|0 Comments

What can bankruptcy do for me?

Are you struggling with overwhelming debt and asking yourself, “What can bankruptcy do for me?” – then our latest video will answer all your questions. We’ve helped hundreds of Dallas area residents by erasing their credit card debt, stopping foreclosures, stopping repossessions, and more. Watch our video for more details about what bankruptcy can do and how it can help you get the fresh start you deserve.

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By |January 22nd, 2015|Bankruptcy, Debt, Videos|0 Comments