What options other thank bankruptcy do I have? 27 Answers as of October 04, 2011

The total debt my husband and I owe is about $34,000. What are our best options? We were both hired as temporary workers until 3 months ago. Now we're both full time. While not working full time, we fell behind in our CC payments, they repo'd my husband car, I had some medical bills we couldn't pay. Ww don't know if our best option is to file bankruptcy or debt managment.

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Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
Most "debt management" ads you see are fraudulent and run by criminals. The very few legit ones are outnumbered by the ones that will mess you up badly. See a lawyer. There is no way to tell you without seeing your numbers if you should file bankruptcy but a lawyer will review all your options.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 10/4/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
bk will discharge certain debts like CC and medical. however, your credit will be negatively impacted. debt resolution is an option but you would need to pay into a reserve fund to be able to make lump sum settlements.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/25/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Debt management has no guarantee. I get clients all the time in debt management plans with judgements against them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/1/2011
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
Debt settlement is terrible option.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 7/26/2011
Ray Fisher Law Offices
Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
What options other thank bankruptcy do I have? Question Detail: The total debt my husband and I owe is about $34,000. What are our best options? We were both hired as temporary workers until 3 months ago. Now we're both full time. While not working full time, we fell behind in our CC payments, they repo'd my husband car, I had some medical bills we couldn't pay. Ww don't know if our best option is to file bankruptcy or debt managment. My opinion is that you should consider trying to manage the debt and see if you can do that. Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer to see if you qualify for a chapter 7 and if not, find out how a chapter 13 will work for you. Then pick the option that makes the most sense.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/26/2011
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
    I won't give you advice for your specific situation, but generally, there are a limited number of options. 1. Work out a deal with creditors. The problem here is many creditors don't want to make a real deal since they can sometimes make more money from your default than from your being current. I have clients who have told me they were current but having a hard time paying and were told that nothing could be done for them until they were in default (at which time the debt goes up astronomically due to late fees, overlimit fees, default rates of interest, etc.). If you have the cash flow to support it, sometimes it works, if the creditor will accept catch-up payments. It takes discipline and persistence. . 2. Settlement. Most deals are lump sum deals, which if you had, you wouldn't be calling them in the first place. Also, all you need is one creditor to not go along and sue, which screws up the whole plan. 3. Third-party Consolidation. The consolidator makes a hefty profit from these deals. Yes, I know they are "non-profit." But due to some loopholes in the law, someone can make a lot more money from a non-profit company than from a for-profit company these days. In all the above, any debt that gets forgiven is counted as income on your income tax if it's more than $600 per year. I don't think the "professional" companies do much of a better job than you could on your own with a little internet research. A reasonable creditor should be happy to make a deal so a loan remains performing - but I haven't seen a reasonable creditor in ages. They sell the debt for pennies, take a tax writeoff on the deficiency, and spread out the so-called loss with increased interest rates on everyone else. Or they turn the credit receivables into a derivative and sell it (so it's not their debt anymore - they just service the account for a trust - which is why they can't make a deal anymore), then Wall Street gambles on the derivative market - if the debt goes bad, the government pays it and bails them out by taxing you. A really vicious cycle. 4. Bankruptcy, That's where a federal judge essentially tells the creditors to take a long walk off a short pier for being greedy when they could have made a deal. There are positives and negatives to all choices, including bankruptcy. Disclaimer: Federal debt relief agent who files bankruptcies when appropriate. Legal information is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Michie Law Firm
    Michie Law Firm | Douglas Michie
    You sound like a great candidate for debt settlement. If you could settle you debts for 50%, it hardly makes sense to file for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    If you do not believe that you can pay back that debt your best option might be Bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Bankruptcy would of course take care of the debt. Please be careful in choosing debt management companies as they are not all honest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC | Amber Morgan Florio, Attorney at Law
    Make an appointment for a Free Consultation with an attorney. Our office can provide a Bankruptcy evaluation, and a Debt Resolution evaluation. After filling out a few forms, and meeting with an Attorney for roughly an hour, you will have a good idea of what your monthly payment would be for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or Debt Resolution, AND you would find out what your options were regarding a Chapter 7 and if you qualify. Then you would be equipped with the information to make your best decision. Most attorneys provide FREE consultations. There is no obligation to sign up for any service. I believe it would be in your best interest to get all options and discuss them before choosing to go forward. A Bankruptcy can offer several benefits, however, debt resolution can offer several benefits as well. It sounds like you would qualify for both options.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    There are alternatives to filing bankruptcy. One is to make arrangement directly with your creditors. You don't need an attorney to do this. Offer only what you can afford. It doesn't do any good to make promises you can't keep. Another choice for consumer credit is to use a debt counseling service. This is tough because so many are so bad. Contact a legitimate consumer credit counselor. They won't be able to deal with all debts. For example deficiencies and medical bills may not be covered. If these fail you mightwant to consider chapter 13 for a payment plan or chapter 7 to wipe out debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    The Port Law Firm
    The Port Law Firm | Edward Port
    Most lawyers including myself offer free consultations. It is best to sit with an attorney who will go over the options with you and determine your best cause of action. A chapter 13 Bankruptcy may allow you to set a plan to repay your debt based on how much you can afford rather than by how much you owe.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Debt management makes empty promises while emptying your wallet and doing little else. A bankruptcy lawyer costs much less and can stop creditors from calling and get your debts discharged forever. Obviously, bankruptcy is the safer option.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    Be careful when speaking to a debt management company.Most do not accomplish waht they promise and many people end up having to file bankruptcy after having paid large up-front non-refundable fees to a debt management company. Speak to a lawyer you trust so that you can make the right decision. Debt management companies cannot file for bankrutpcy and do not make money off of that process, so they will steer you away from bankruptcy with scare tactics. A reputable attorney will not file a bankruptcy for you, if in fact it is not in your best interest. The key is speaking with a reputable attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    It depends on your income. The cut off for filing a chapter 7, which would generally allow you to discharge your unsecured debt, is that your income must be below the median income for the state. If not, you would have to pass the means test to see if you are ch. 7 eligible. Also, the income that will be looked at is the income averaged over the previous 6 months, so if your income is increasing, you may want to consider filing sooner than later if you can qualify. If you can meet this requirement, then you should strongly consider filing so that you can get your debt, including any money you may owe on a deficiency judgment for the car, because just because the car was repossessed does not mean that the creditor won't come after you for the difference owed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Just weigh the costs and benefits of each. Have a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney and you can determine what options are available to you there, as well as the cost. Then compare that to whatever deal the debt management company is offering to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
    As long as you meet the conditions for a Chapter 7, i.e. income, assets etc, Then bankruptcy is oyur best route. You need to talk to an attorney to choose your best option.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    Before considering debt management, you should sit down for a free consultation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to talk about the cost and time horizon of the various options. You should also look at your credit score to determine whether filing bankruptcy will hurt, have no affect, or even improve your score (yes, I've seen that happen).
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Bobby Yaghoubian
    Law Office of Bobby Yaghoubian | Bobby Yaghoubian
    You have several options available to you. Of course, picking the right option really depends on your specific financial situation. Here are the options: 1. Debt negotiation and settlement; 2. Bankruptcy; and 3. Repayment Since now you and your husband are working full time, debt negotiation and settlement may be a viable option for you. This, of course, will be determined after a detailed analysis of your financial situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    In your position I would attempt to negotiate directly with the creditors for payment arrangements. There is no point in my opinion for paying someone else to do what you can do yourselves. You should be aware that if any of the amounts you owe have been turned over to collection agencies it is common for them to negotiate down, and on medical bills I have seen them take as little as .25 on the dollar. Be aware that most creditors will prefer at least minimal payment to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which they would get nothing, or a Chapter 13, in which they will get a minimal dividend. Depending on the size of your family, if, for a family of 4, your combined income is above about $77,000 then you will have to file Chapter 13. If below that you may file Chapter 7. There are further details to the means test which require more information than you have provided.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy | Anerio V. Altman, Esq.
    You have two chapters of Bankruptcy available to you, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Either will be of assistance to deal with the debt. You should really only be doing debt management if you have any likely chance of paying off the debt at at least 1/2 of your total debt in a 3 year period. If you can't do at least that, you should be looking at Bankruptcy. Most attorneys offer a free consultation. Couldn't hurt to ask.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    The Law Offices of Steven Grace
    The Law Offices of Steven Grace | Steven Grace
    Be very careful. The prevailing view is that debt settlement or management is a scam that leaves you with the same amount of debt two years later. Not to mention lawsuits.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    They can do a voluntary payment plan outside bankruptcy but do not go to credit counseling companies.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    When comparing bankruptcy to debt consolidation programs, the main quesiton is what is your main problem? Is your problem the amount of debt you are trying to pay or is it the high interest rates that creditors are charging that keep you from getting ahead? Debt consolidation can effectively reduce your interest rates on many unsecured debts. Sometimes the interest can be dropped to 0%. However, the principal (the starting amount) of the debt is not reduced, so even if your interest drops to 0% you will have trouble if the amount of debt is too high to pay off in 5 years or less.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Bankruptcy isa quicker solution to debt management, which oftentimes leads to bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
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