Many people struggle with the decision to file bankruptcy. Usually this is because they have misconceptions about bankruptcy in general. Basically, bankruptcy is a legal way to level the playing field between an individual debtor and creditors. It is a legal proceeding that provides the debtor with a fresh start.
The two types of bankruptcy that are most commonly available for an individual are: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both of kinds require the specialized focus that only a bankruptcy attorney in St. Louis, MO and elsewhere in the country have.
Chapter 7, or straight bankruptcy, is what most people typically think of as bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor’s non-exempt assets are liquidated or sold and the proceeds are used to pay toward unsecured debts (credit cards, loans, medical bills, etc.). In the overwhelming majority of cases, however, people do not lose any property which means unsecured creditors get nothing. At the end of the bankruptcy, roughly 3-4 months after filing, the debts are discharged and the creditor can never collect on the debt.
Chapter 13 is a debt reorganization or consolidation bankruptcy. If a person has a regular monthly income, their debts (mortgage arrears, car payments, credit cards, medical bills, loans, student loans, etc.) are rolled into one low monthly payment. Because the debtor is paying back his creditors through this repayment plan, the debtor does not risk losing any assets as he might under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Furthermore, while in the repayment plan, typically 3-5 years, creditors are stopped from contacting the debtor without first going through the debtor’s attorney and the court.
Millions of people declared bankruptcy last year alone to get the fresh start they needed. Contrary to what many believe, bankruptcy does not permanently damage your credit, and you will still be able to have credit. The new bankruptcy laws that went into effect in 2005 changed bankruptcy very little.
The term Bankruptcy is derived from the Italian word banca rotta, meaning broken bench. It is a federal court process designed to help consumers and businesses eliminate their debts or repay them under the protection of the bankruptcy court. However, there are specialized units for bankruptcy in each federal district court.
Under the Federal Bankruptcy Act, these district courts take care of the bankruptcy filings and other functional procedures. Factors Influencing Bankruptcy: The following factors seem to influence bankruptcy, in general. But a combination of all these factors is however found to have greater impact on Bankruptcy.
1. Rising Unemployment: Unemployment or sudden loss of job is a key factor influencing bankruptcy. In order to maintain an optimum standard of living, unemployed people are more prone to taking debt without the ability to pay back. Thus accumulated debt level rapidly increases resulting into Bankruptcy.
2. Broken Marriage: Rising divorce rates are seen to have influenced the number of bankruptcy filings. This is because in most cases one or both the parties suffer financially due to legal separation. Divorce rates are almost 50% now, thus, if divorce is being considered, take note of this fact!
3. Credit Card Usage: The more the number of cards, the more will be the amount of debt. With the increase in the number of accounts used by each adult, the rate of filing bankruptcy also increases. Research shows that the most number of people who are in debt are young adults between the age range of 25 to 30. This is the age of ‘Credit Card Spending’, which is spending more than their income. Before 30 years old, they are already in debt.
4. Debt Income Ratio: Debt :. With the rise in debt-income ratio, rate of filing bankruptcy also increases. Your Outstanding Debts A bankruptcy may not necessarily dissolve all of your debts. Some types of debts may be exempt from bankruptcy like alimony, maintenance, child support, educational loans, taxes, including income, property, withholding, and employment taxes, fines, penalties, or forfeitures payable to the government, some punitive damages, and debts based on fraud.
How to Overcome Bankruptcy? After knowing the main factors influencing bankruptcy, you must try your very best in avoiding these mine traps. You must, at all cost, avoid bankruptcy as it does more damage to you than you can imagine! One main problem most people encounter after declaring bankruptcy is difficulty in getting new employment. Regardless of what the law says about discrimination against personal bankruptcy, but in real life, these people do face many challenges and discriminations.
If you have financial difficulties now, take the next step in solve them but getting a debt consultant. Debt consultants are experts in debt reductions and can certainly help you regain a stable financial footing.