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Treat bankruptcy as a pathway to better finances when in debt

Many people view bankruptcy as something to feel ashamed of or to avoid at all costs. While you may not want to broadcast the fact that your debt levels have become problematic for your family, that doesn't mean you should feel embarrassed of your situation either.

Many people who work hard and spend their entire adult life supporting their family can find themselves facing bankruptcy after just a few months of missed work due to an injury or an illness. Other times, the descent into financial disarray occurs more slowly, with debt levels creeping up over time. Eventually, they simply become unsustainable for the household.

Regardless of how you wound up in a situation where you feel you need bankruptcy protections, don't view bankruptcy as something embarrassing or negative. View it as an opportunity to get your financial life back on track.

Bankruptcy can help you avoid judgments and foreclosure

Falling behind with your monthly payments usually means that creditors will start to take steps to collect on your debt. In some cases, that could mean filing a lawsuit against you in an attempt to garnish your wages. Other times, if the debt has a connection to collateral, such as a vehicle, the lender may attempt to repossess that asset. If you have fallen behind with your house payments, that could even mean that your bank attempts to foreclose on your home.

Not only would a judgment or a foreclosure proceeding have a financial impact, but it will also create a negative mark on your credit for seven years. Bankruptcy can help you avoid both foreclosure and judgments, provided that you file in a timely manner. In other words, it could keep most of the negative marks off of your credit report.

Bankruptcy discharge freezes up your income for important costs

When you spend a large portion of your monthly income paying the minimum possible payment on debt, you will never overcome that debt. It will continue to increase over time and eat up more and more of your budget.

Filing for bankruptcy and discharging unsecured debt such as credit cards and medical debt can help ensure that you have enough money in your monthly budget to cover all of your most critical expenses, such as your mortgage and cost of living expenses.

Bankruptcy gives you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes

Without bankruptcy protection, you could wind up in a lifelong cycle of overextending yourself with credit and struggling to repay as much as you can. Bankruptcy helps break that cycle by eliminating unsecured debt and freeing up your assets.

If you take steps to rebuild your credit, such as the careful and conscientious use of a new line of credit, you may soon find that your credit score after bankruptcy is better than it was before you filed. Everybody's financial circumstances are unique to their family. There's no way to know how bankruptcy could affect you unless you sit down with a Richmond attorney who understands bankruptcy to talk about your options.

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