Don't File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Until You've Explored These Alternatives

If you're struggling to stay afloat financially, there's a good chance that the idea of filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy has crossed your mind a time or two. And while chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a viable option for those in serious debt and financial trouble, it should also be seen as a last resort. Before you move forward with bankruptcy proceedings, then, make sure you've thoroughly explored these three alternatives that could provide you with the debt relief you need.

Meet With a Personal Finance Consultant

Even if you've already crunched the numbers yourself and determined that there's no alternative, set aside some time to meet with a personal finance consultant. These professionals make a living off of helping people like you get out of debt by working with your current finances. Specifically, a personal finance consultant may be able to figure out a way for you to pay down your debts and stay above water with the money you have. Yes, you might have to make some temporary sacrifices, such as getting rid of cable or even getting a roommate, but these will be worth it in the long run when you're able to avoid bankruptcy.

Explore Debt Consolidation or Settlement

If your current finances simply won't allow for you to pay down your debts as needed, another option worth exploring is that of debt consolidation or debt settlement. With debt consolidation, you essentially take out one big loan to pay off all of your debts; the idea is that the one large loan will save you money by having a lower interest rate and thus making payments more feasible. Debt settlement, on the other hand, involves negotiating with your creditors to work out a payment plan that works with your budget.

Re-Assess Your Mortgage Situation

If you're a home owner, you should also look carefully at your mortgage and don't be afraid to explore alternatives. For example, a common option for saving money is to refinance your existing mortgage. You can then use the money you're saving each month on your mortgage payments to apply towards your debt, which could save you from having to file for bankruptcy. If refinancing isn't an option, consider speaking with your mortgage lender to see if they would be willing to work out a payment plan that allows you to make smaller monthly payments in the short-term as a means of freeing up money for debt payments.

To learn more, contact a company like Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC