In my Philadelphia bankruptcy and debt negotiation practice, I regularly meet clients who are reluctant even to talk about bankruptcy. Sometimes, they have heard horror stories or read misleading information. Other times, they believe that filing for bankruptcy means that they have failed, regardless of the cause of their difficulties. Their emotions prevent them from looking at options that may be crucial to getting their finances back on track and securing their families’ futures.
Refusing to consider all of your options can be costly. Time and again, people experiencing financial difficulties drive themselves deeper into debt paying one creditor with another in a futile attempt to ward off bankruptcy. Even worse, I have witnessed hard-working people pay escalating fees and interest on unsecured debt by using up assets that might have been saved in bankruptcy, such as money in retirement accounts and the equity in their homes. Many times, had they consulted with an experienced lawyer earlier, they might have avoided bankruptcy or at least retained more of their assets.
With so much on the line, it is crucial to keep an open mind when discussing your financial problems with your bankruptcy attorney. No one should file for bankruptcy without discussing alternatives, such as negotiation with creditors. Likewise, refusing to discuss all options with your attorney, including bankruptcy, is simply leaving you with only part of the information you need to make an informed decision. If you are in serious financial difficulty, it is important to understand all of your options. For that reason, your attorney should discuss all viable solutions with you, such as Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and debt negotiation, including the benefits and drawbacks of each option. An informed decision is more likely to be the right decision.
Dan Mueller of Harborstone Law Group, PLLC is a Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney who helps people in greater Philadelphia resolve debt and gain control of their finances. You can call Dan at 215-248-0989.