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    Bankruptcy: Everything You Always Wanted to Know

    By Daniel Joelson | December 4 2021

    U.S. laws offer a fresh start to overwhelmed debtors. Bankruptcy can help you wipe out debt through discharge, create viable debt repayment plans or alter the terms of your debt.


    What is bankruptcy?

    Bankruptcy is federal protection that helps people and businesses who can’t pay their debts. Most individuals who file choose between Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy and Chapter 13 (repayment) bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy you file influences whether you need to sell your assets or make payments. It may influence how much of your debt gets canceled.

    Even though most people shudder when they hear the word, bankruptcy can bring much-needed financial relief. There’s a certain stigma around the idea of giving up on debts and seeking refuge, but there’s no real reason to feel shame.

    “Bankruptcy isn’t an easy solution or a coward’s way out, but people with a lot of motivation can sometimes avoid it,” said Max Smith, a certified credit counselor in Sacramento, Calif.

    That being said, filing is a serious decision that requires a lot of thought.

    file for bankruptcy

    Who should consider it?

    “You don’t do bankruptcy just for the fun of it, but I think it is a good a thing, not a bad thing,” says John Colwell, president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

    If you think you may be a candidate, Colwell advises talking to an expert sooner rather than later.

    “I don’t want to see people suffering without asking questions,” he says. “Being proactive and asking a [lawyer or credit counselor] the scary questions will help you make an informed decision.”

    If you feel overwhelmed by debt, but you’re not sure whether it makes sense, consider speaking with a non-profit credit counselor. This is a good way to pursue a bankruptcy and its alternatives to the same meeting. By law, you cannot file bankruptcy unless you meet with a non-profit budget. And credit counselor to review your spending habits.

    The counselor may guide you towards alternatives. On the other hand, the counselor may determine that makes a lot of sense for you. Smith sometimes counsels people to consider after a life-altering event. Health crises or income losses can make it tough to recover without.


    There are other signs that you might need to consider. If you’ve turned to take out car title loans or payday loans, you’re under-withholding your taxes from your paycheck, or you’re considering dipping into your 401(k) to meet your debt obligations, you might have enough debt to make bankruptcy a viable option, Colwell suggests.

    Essentially, these are all signs that your debt is so overwhelming that your existing income isn’t sufficient to manage it. This article is brought to you by Car Title Loans California – learn how car title loans work today!

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