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Is Bankruptcy an Option If I’m Not in Default?

Bankruptcy is often looked upon as a last resort. Unfortunately, this causes many people to wait too long to file and what could have been prevented or salvaged had they filed earlier is lost because of the delay.

In most cases, people won’t even consider bankruptcy until they are dealing with bill collectors and have loans in default. Often, it’s the threat of foreclosure that forces someone to consider bankruptcy.

Your best bet, if you think bankruptcy could be in your future, is to speak to a bankruptcy expert as soon as possible. You won’t be obligated to file, but at least you’ll understand the benefits of filing earlier, as well as the consequences of waiting too long.

But what if you are concerned about your financial situation, but you don’t have loans in default yet? Basically, what if things are bad, but not that bad… yet?

Payment Status Does Not Effect Eligibility

The truth is, even if you feel as if your situation could be worse, you should still speak to someone about bankruptcy. The status of your payments has no bearing on your eligibility, so even if you have no accounts in default, you could still qualify for bankruptcy.

Too many people assume they aren’t eligible for the relief bankruptcy offers because they are current on their payments or their credit score is “too good.”

It’s just not true. You can file for bankruptcy with a perfect credit score and perfect payment history.

In many cases, attorneys will recommend people file for bankruptcy before they start paying their bills late. Of course, it’s not all that common for someone with a great credit score and flawless payment history to contact a bankruptcy attorney. After all, they’re obviously able to make ends meet.

Emergencies Can Lead to Financial Disaster

But what about those people who up to this point haven’t had a problem, but they unexpectedly lose their job? Or they are suddenly dealing with a medical bill in the hundreds of thousands of dollars? Their perfect credit score and payment history are about to take a hit, it just hasn’t happened yet.

In many of these cases, people are forced to consider using their hard-earned savings to pay their bills because of an emergency. This is also a mistake. Waiting too long, draining your savings, taking out new loans… all of these things can make your financial situation far worse in the long run.

Read what AARP had to say about using retirement savings to pay off debt here.

If you are in a situation where you can no longer or you are about to no longer be able to afford to pay your bills based on your income, bankruptcy might be the right option for you.

This isn’t to say everyone who is experiencing a tight financial spot should file for bankruptcy. You should never file for bankruptcy unless you need to.

The keyword here is “need.” What one person considers a need might not be viewed as such by someone else. This is why it’s important to consult a professional. Someone familiar with how bankruptcy works and who knows the damage not filing can cause allows you to explore your options and determine the best way for you to proceed.

If you’re considering bankruptcy, but you don’t think you are quite there yet, or you just have questions about your financial situation, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 for more information.

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At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater,     St. Petersburg, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.