As a bankruptcy lawyer in Michigan, I see many clients with debts – large and small – who don’t know what to do. Credit agencies may be calling work and home, trying to collect on outstanding bills. They may be facing lawsuits or the loss of their home. And on top of it all, the reason they may be in debt, like illness, job loss or divorce is still weighing on them.
Rising costs, rising debts, pressures at work, worries about your family – facing bankruptcy can feel overwhelming. But you are not alone. And there is help for you.
If you need to file for bankruptcy, my job as a bankruptcy lawyer in Michigan is to make the process as comfortable and understandable as possible. The last thing you need is more complication and worry. As your bankruptcy lawyer, I will be with you 100% of the way, helping you understand your options. I will do what it takes to guide you through the process and help you start your new life.
Why Might Bankruptcy Not Be Right for You?
You may be unwilling or unable to file for bankruptcy. It’s a difficult choice. A bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, making it more difficult to obtain credit in the future. You will likely also lose property you cherish. Bankruptcy may not get rid of some of your larger debts like student loans or tax debts.
And if you have filed for bankruptcy in the past, you may be unable to file again.
So what are the alternatives to filing for bankruptcy?
First – Talk to An Expert
The first step to take back control is to talk to an expert who understands your situation, and the law. That can be an approved credit counselor or experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Michigan. They’ll help you understand your options and provide solid advice and action you can take to protect yourself and your family.
Start Debt / Credit Counseling
Credit counseling is another simple step you can take to start taking back control of your life. While ultimately you may need to file for bankruptcy, sound financial planning can help put you in a better situation. Plus, credit counseling is a requirement for filing for bankruptcy, so it could put you a step ahead.
Debt-Settlement – Reduce or Discharge Your Debt
I work on debt-settlement with many of my clients. It’s a good alternative to bankruptcy, especially if you are unable to file.
Debt settlement is when a creditor you owe money to agrees to accept a smaller amount to pay off the debt. Sounds a little crazy, right? Why would they do that? Companies you owe money to realize they may get little or no money back if you file for bankruptcy. So they may be persuaded to reduce the amount you owe, and accept a lump sum payment to pay off your debt.
If you are interested in learning more about debt-settlement, you can contact me any time for a no-obligation consultation.
Selling Property or Assets
Take a look at what you own – properties, jewelry, stocks, vehicles. Is there anything you can sell to get quick cash to pay down your debts? It’s not an easy choice. You will likely have emotional connections to a vacation property or family heirlooms. Letting go will be hard. But the relief of being debt-free could outweigh any sadness you feel.
Another option is loan consolidation. In this option, you simply move money around, perhaps combining some loans and negotiating longer payment terms with reduced payments. A credit counseling agency or qualified bankruptcy lawyer in Michigan can help you understand your options and counsel you on the best strategy. You may end up in debt for longer, but it could be easier to make the reduced payments to discharge your debt.
Renegotiating your Mortgage
For many, a home is their most valuable asset. And their most treasured. Many of my clients are worried about losing their home during the bankruptcy process. Renegotiating mortgage terms, or borrowing on the value of your home is a simple step to reduce debt. Simple doesn’t mean painless though. You may be paying off your mortgage for longer than you expected. But if it allows you to keep your family home, then it could be worth it in the end.
In order to refinance your home, however, you may have to requalify for the new mortgage. And if you’re already in debt, or have a poor credit score, your application could be turned down.
In Debt and Need Help? Contact Stephanie Krane-Boehmer, Your Expert Divorce and Bankruptcy Lawyer in Michigan
I’ve said it before. If you’re in debt and overwhelmed, there IS hope. Reach out to me for a no-obligation consultation to explore your options. I also offer affordable fees and payment plans. Deciding to file bankruptcy is not easy. But the process can provide financial relief to honest people who need to start over. Get help, contact the Law Office of Stephanie Krane-Boehmer today.
Want to learn more? Follow me on Facebook.