Even though filing for bankruptcy is not the nail in your financial coffin that most assume it to be, it is certainly worth exploring other options before going down that road. With the help of financial services in Des Moines, IA, you can have a better understanding of just what bankruptcy is before determining if it is the right course of action for you.
What is bankruptcy?
When an individual has accumulated more debt and owes more money than they have assets to pay with, they are considered to be financially bankrupt. There are two primary types of bankruptcy that someone can file. There is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which includes the liquidating and selling off of all of your assets, and then using this money to cover and pay off as many of your debts as possible. This type of bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 10 years, but many individuals have still been able to buy a new home or car despite this mark on their record. Although Chapter 7 entails the denouncing of all your assets, if you will be buried in debt for several years and need a way to start over with a clean slate, this is a good option.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a reorganization of your assets as opposed to selling them all off. This reorganization can help steady your finances as you work on pulling yourself out of debt by restructuring your payments over the course of three to five years. As long as you maintain steady and consistent income and make your payments on time, you will be eligible for debt forgiveness once your predetermined grace period is complete. This is the more attractive option if you are interested in keeping primary assets such as your home, car or a personal business.
What you should do
Before filing for bankruptcy, take a deeper look into your financial situation to see if filing is something that can be avoided. Don’t forget to take into consideration the value of things such as your home, cars and any money that might currently be tied up in retirement or college savings accounts when making your calculations. Ask yourself questions like: Is the amount of my debt completely insurmountable and overwhelming me to the point where I have no other options? Do the individual debt collectors have other options that would allow me to restructure my debts and get on a direct payment plan? Will I feasibly be able to pay all of my debts off in the next 12 to 24 months on my own?
While bankruptcy is certainly a viable option, assessing your situation to see if other options are available to you won’t hurt. After you have thoroughly examined your situation and compiled a rough estimate of the value of all of your assets, the next step is to seek out the aid of a professional. For financial services in Des Moines, IA that you can trust, contact Accounting & Tax Professionals, PLC for help with determining what the best course of action for your family will be.