Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a valuable lifeline for borrowers struggling to keep up with unmanageable debt, allowing them to reclaim their lives and start over again. As you know, financial catastrophes happen every day. Traumatic events such as a divorce or medical bills from your loved one’s surgery (when your family didn’t have health insurance) or mounting credit card bills used to pay normal expenses after a spouse loses his/her job. These bills are often emotionally devastating and financially crippling. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help you recover from these catastrophic events by allowing you to discharge, forever, medical bills, credit card bills and other unsecured debts. However, the many benefits of filing for bankruptcy protection should be weighed against the drawbacks before deciding whether it’s the right solution for you. Below are some of the benefits and disadvantages of bankruptcy you should consider.
The Pros & Cons of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The first and most obvious advantage of filing for bankruptcy is the opportunity to discharge all of your unsecured debts (except taxes, certain government leans, child support, and maintenance arrears). In other words, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can completely eliminate credit card debt, unpaid medical bills, some back taxes, and a wide range of other obligations.
Without these credit cards and medical bills, most people have the ability to pay their normal household expenses, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, food and car payment. A bankruptcy gives you a fresh start, financially. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition also triggers an automatic stay, which puts an immediate stop to harassing collections, such as robot calls, nasty letters, foreclosures, repossessions, and it ends wage garnishments.
In exchange for discharging your debt, the trustee has the right to seize some assets to pay back creditors, such as luxury boats or 2nd homes. However, the law allows you to exempt a variety of household belongings, and most people can retain their vehicle, home, furniture, clothes, jewelry, and most family heirlooms. Bankruptcy will also result in a significant drop in your credit score, although missing payments and delinquencies on your record can be even more damaging over time. The declaration stays on your credit report for 10 years, but you have the opportunity to start rebuilding your score right away.
The legal team at The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh has over 20 years of experience helping borrowers throughout South-Central Missouri reclaim their lives from unmanageable debt. They understand how difficult financial hardships can be and will do everything possible to help you get the second chance you deserve. Visit their website to learn more about their bankruptcy services, and call (417) 683-2987 to schedule a consultation with an experienced, compassionate attorney. Follow the firm on Facebook for more additional legal insights.