Things to Consider Before Attempting DIY Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy, although necessary for many individuals, should be utilized as a last resort once all other options have been reviewed first. If you are unaware of what these options may be, we are here to make them clear. Follow along and you may be able to get back on track all on your own.
Commit to Budgeting
One of the first things that a person can do is review their own spending patterns or habits before seeking help. If acted upon before the problem reaches the point of no return it’s possible that there may be no need for outside intervention and filing bankruptcy could be avoided completely.
There are several resources available online that are designed to help an individual create a household budget without any cost. For example, many blogs address budgeting and supply step by step guides. You’ll even find our own Financial Educator, Todd Christensen offering up his article, “Building and Living By a Better Budget,” which lays out instructions for creating an effective plan for managing household finances. Once you’ve applied you his method and performed a bit of trial and error, your money will work like a well-oiled machine.
Seek Free Counsel
Most credit counseling agencies should be able to review your financial picture and provide you with a household budget at no cost. They will likely also discuss other tips to help you save regularly and curb your spending. Bankruptcy attorneys may be able to assist with this as well, however, it is paramount that these services remain free of cost.
Be leery of Credit Counselors or Bankruptcy Attorneys that charge upfront for assisting in the creation of a household budget, as it seems to me that if someone is willing to charge you in order to help you get out of debt on your own then it might be that their intentions go beyond wanting to help you and fall more in line with wanting to help themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, if there is a continual service that they provide then, by all means, there should be some fee charged.
Shop for Low-cost Help
Before attempting a “Do it yourself bankruptcy” you may find it beneficial and informative to seek advice from a certified Credit Counseling Agency first. Again, be sure that the initial advice is provided at no cost. If continual assistance is needed, remember to shop around, fees for practically the same services can vary widely from one organization to another. Also, make sure the organization that you choose to work with has the support services available to make your experience with them the best it can be.
Credit counseling agencies, for instance, tend to encourage you to gain a basic financial education and will likely give you the tools and resources needed, at no-cost, to do so.
Consider a Debt Repayment Plan
Before attempting to file bankruptcy on your own, you may find it feasible to settle your debt on your own. Our article, “A Guide to Beating Credit Card Debt,” can you give insight into how you can develop an affordable plan to pay off any of your unsecured debt including credit card balances, loans, collection accounts, and medical bills.
You may be able to manage to regain good standing on all your debts without filing for bankruptcy. Going this route comes with the added benefit of preserving your credit and is often less costly, both financially and emotionally.
Bankruptcy should not be taken lightly. The best way to know if bankruptcy is the answer is to discuss your situation with financial professionals. Attorneys may convince you to give them your business and credit counselors may suggest you consider a low-cost debt management program. However, a free consultation with either may give you the information you need to make the best decision for you and help you set a direction for moving forward.
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