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Should I file for bankruptcy? 

Before a bankruptcy case can be filed, the debtor must decide whether bankruptcy is, in fact, the best vehicle for dealing with the problems that the debtor faces. In a typical consumer bankruptcy case, most of the attorney’s analysis involves comparing bankruptcy with other possible avenues of handling financial problems. 

A necessary prerequisite to such comparison is a knowledge of all the relevant facts. Although it may sometimes be possible to rule out bankruptcy based on knowledge of only a few facts (for example, that a debtor does not wish to lose certain property that cannot be saved in bankruptcy), it is never possible to decide safely to pursue bankruptcy without a thorough knowledge of the facts. Without such knowledge, unknown property (such as the right to a tax refund) may be lost in bankruptcy; major debts may turn out to be unaffected because they cannot be discharged or because there are liens on property; or property might be incorrectly valued and, as a result, lost to creditors. 

To assess whether bankruptcy will help, take the following steps: 

  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy. It is important to know the benefits and pitfalls of bankruptcy. While the benefits can be great–discharge of most debts and an automatic stay against creditors–there are disadvantages, particularly the possibility of losing property.  Read more…

Posted by NACBA (National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys), 2015