Sometimes we look at things the wrong way because of something that someone told us at some moment at some time in our past. And bankruptcy is one of those things that is most at risk for being looked at wrongly.
Admit it: just the mention of bankruptcy makes you uneasy. Bankruptcy. You are going to lose things. You really should work harder to pay your bills. You should forget about putting more than $10.00 in your tank because you need the rest of the money for your credit cards. You won’t make the mortgage payment this month but will speak with them next month about making arrangements. You will call the car people and see if they will take a half-payment. You will see if you can keep the electric company from turning off your power.
But you will not file for bankruptcy. And why is that? Because you think others will think of you as a failure?
How about a reality check: Bankruptcy is not some liberal policy that was created to allow people to avoid their creditors even when they have the ability to pay. Quite the contrary. Bankruptcy is biblical. It goes back to the Old Testament. Trust me. The Old Testament says that people who are unable to pay their obligations should have those obligations forgiven in the seventh year. Notice I didn’t say anything about those who can pay on their obligations. There is no forgiveness for them. But who is to say who can pay those obligations and who cannot?
We, your attorneys at Steidl and Steinberg, can help you with this. We have been working with people for decades to help determine if they have the ability to pay their bills, and, if so, how much they are able to pay if they cannot pay the entire amount.
How do we do that? First, we look at your income, the net amount that you have in your paycheck after deductions for taxes and insurances. Then we ask you about your normal monthly expenses, such as your housing payments, utilities, car payments, food, clothing, insurances, medical expenses, transportation costs, and other important things. Then, after we look at both your income and your expenses, we see if you have any money left over to pay on the charge cards and other bills. Some of our clients have no money left; if they also don’t have too many assets, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be appropriate. Or maybe they have $300.00 left, but their minimum payments on their bills is $900.00. If so, a Chapter 13 will save them $600.00 per month.
Can you use an extra $600.00 per month?
So stop beating yourself up over the bills you can’t afford. Give us a call. Despite what Ken Steidl and I look like, we haven’t been around as long as the Old Testament. But we might be able to help you reach the promised land.