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At what point should I file for bankruptcy

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Think carefully.

Helpful to 73 out of 81 people

If your only debt is "unsecured", which means there is nothing you purchased with the funds that a creditor could take and sell to recoup some of the lent money, then you absolutely do not want to file for bankruptcy.  If you have something seriously tangible such as house or car, then you MIGHT think about it. 

Your credit score will take a hit for 10 years if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you file a Chapter 13 (also known as "wage earner's repayment plan" ) your credit score will be hurt for 7 yearsd which is about the same for regular debts.

A Chapter 13 might be a viable option if you would like to get the bills paid off but are currently "over your head".  As long as you have a steady income, it can work.  The interest rate on bills will be drastically reduced, 'but you will also have to not take on any debt and you will not have credit cards, period. I was there more than 20 years ago.

Bankruptcy attornies often offer free consultations for the initial visit and tell you other options you migh use to clear up debts w ithout going the bankruptcy route.

Hope this helps.

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One Mistake I Made that you can avoid

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According to my lawyer, about 80% of people make the following mistake, which I made as well.  Before seeking bankruptcy help, I did everything possible to avoid it.  This includes fully using up my retirement money, in the hope that things would get better if I could just hold off bankruptcy a while longer.  This is a mistake, because you don't lose your retirement accounts like IRA's and 401k's in bankruptcy.  So by waiting too long, I ended up bankrupt anyway, only with no retirement either.

Consult an attorney and learn what is protected as soon as bankruptcy looks like a possibility and you can avoid this and other mistakes that are all too commonly made.

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Helpful to 3 out of 5 people

i've been on disability for 4 years now due to a stroke  and have lost $800.00 in benefits this last month the budget has become tighter and credit card card and medical balances are causing great pain each monthe to pay a minimal payment should i file bankruptcy or contine to work with creditors

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When you start using credit to sustain daily life, such as buying food, clothes, ect that you would normally pay cash for. As noted above DO NOT go into IRA, or retirment accounts as they are exempt in most states up to 1.5 million. 

Bankruptcy is not something to be taken lightly as it has a great impact on your credit, but other than that it CAN help. But you have to learn what got you there so you don't get back in the same position as you can only file once ever 7 years. So if your finiancal situation is going to get worse, wait it out, BUT if it looks like it is going to get better then I would file. 

But the only person who can decide to file is you, you know your finiacal situtation, but not all debts are dsichargable, such as student loans, criminal restution, court costs/fines, and taxes. I would check with your state bar assocation via going to google enter your state name followed by " state bar assocation " check their website for information, maybe your state has a modest means program or law help which can provide greater detail of information specfic to your state concerning bankruptcy.

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