Non-Bankruptcy Options

As experienced bankruptcy attorneys, we know all the ways that bankruptcy can help people who are dealing with debt and financial worries. We also understand the many reasons that people are reluctant to file for bankruptcy. That reluctance often causes them to struggle alone for longer than they should, because they want to avoid hearing that bankruptcy is their only option.

However, the sooner you consult a professional for help, the more options you are likely to have. Although we are bankruptcy attorneys, bankruptcy isn’t our priority; helping our clients is. There are many alternatives to bankruptcy that you may not be aware of. If one of those options is a better choice for you than bankruptcy, we will let you know — and help you put the wheels in motion to relieve your financial problems. We know that every individual and every family has a different set of circumstances. Contact our law office to schedule a free initial consultation so we can help you figure out the best answer for your unique needs.

Common Alternatives to Bankruptcy

Almost all financial problems boil down to simple math: there is more money that needs to go out than there is money coming in. The math may be simple, but solving the problem usually doesn’t feel that way. When we talk about non-bankruptcy options, what we’re really talking about is ways to change the math problem. There are three basic ways to do that: reduce spending or debt; increase the amount of money available to pay debt; or both.

Reducing Debt and Expenses

If you have already incurred debt, you may think that there is no way to get rid of it short of paying it off or filing for bankruptcy. However, that is not necessarily true.

One option for reducing debt is debt settlement negotiations with your creditors. Many creditors would rather settle for a payment that is less than what they are owed than risk getting nothing if you file for bankruptcy. Having an experienced attorney on your side increases the likelihood of a successful negotiation. An attorney may also be able to help you negotiate easier payment terms with your creditors, whether or not those creditors are willing to reduce the amount they will accept in settlement of the debt.

There is also the possibility that some of your debt may be exempt from collection. If we can help you determine that it is, or that some of your assets are unavailable for creditors, that will reduce the financial pressure on you.

We may also be able to help you establish a debt management plan that consolidates credit card payments, reduces interest rates, and extends the time you have to pay, reducing your monthly payments and making them more manageable. Another option is budgeting and credit counseling that can help you see where your money is going and reduce your expenses.

Increasing Available Funds

Depending on your situation, it may be a challenge to increase the amount of money you have to pay down your debt. For instance, if much of your debt is medical debt caused by a serious illness or injury, you may not be in a position to take on additional work. To the extent possible, however, we can help you explore options for increasing your income. You may also decide to sell assets in order to have cash with which to pay some debt and increase your financial “breathing room.” If you do decide to sell assets, keep good records of the transactions in case you later need to show that you received fair market value for them.

Under some circumstances, it may make sense to take a home equity loan to pay down other debts, but that can carry its own risk. It’s wise to discuss that, and your other options, with an attorney before taking action.

Explore Your Non-Bankruptcy Options with an Attorney

For most people, the hardest part of exploring alternatives to bankruptcy is taking the first step: contacting an experienced attorney to learn what those options are. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to evaluate your options, the fewer options you usually have.

If you schedule a free initial consultation with our law office, you should know that it carries no obligation. As legal professionals in the area of bankruptcy and debt management, we are in the best position to help you understand the benefits and risks of non-bankruptcy options. We’ll give you an objective picture of your options so that you can decide what is right for you.

At John A. Steinberger & Associates, P.C., we have helped thousands of people get relief from their financial worries. We can help you, too. Contact our law office to learn more.