As the North American economy continues to weaken, and every day we read news of bailouts, we get even more worried about our own personal financial situation. What can we do? If you are experiencing money problems and you think that personal bankruptcy is your only alternative, start with our five step program to avoid bankruptcy.
First, make a family budget. If you don’t know where your money is going, you can’t decide what spending to cut to free up cash to repay your debts on your own. Read our special report on budgeting for more information, and for some free tools to help you budget.
If your budget shows that you can afford it, your next step may be to try to get a debt consolidation loan. With a debt consolidation loan you consolidate your debts and make one monthly payment, at a lower interest rate than you are paying now. You need good credit to qualify.
If you don’t have good credit, your next option would be to consider credit counseling through a non-profit credit counsellor about a debt management plan. They may be able to work out a plan where you repay your debts over a longer period of time, at a reduced or zero interest rate.
If that isn’t affordable, a legal procedure may be necessary. In the United States you could file a Chapter 13 Wage Earner Plan. In Canada you could consider a consumer proposal. Either way, it may be possible to negotiate a legal settlement where you pay less than the full amount owing.
If even that is not affordable then, and only then, should you consider personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a last resort, only to be considered if all other bankruptcy alternatives have been considered. You have options, so consider them wisely, do your research, and then make the decision that is best for you and your family.
Posted by Editor Bankruptcy Alternatives @ 12:40 pm