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When you hear the word bankruptcy, do you think of someone who has misused their money or spent ignorantly? Unfortunately, this is what many people think of when they consider bankruptcy. For this reason, many people do not turn to bankruptcy when it would be helpful to them. Bankruptcy is actually a way to help yourself overcome the challenges that you face financially. These problems may not be any fault of your own. You may have gotten hurt, suffered the loss of a job or suddenly had to take on more expenses than usual. The reality is that almost anyone can end up in bankruptcy for a variety of reasons.

What should you do if you are struggling to pay your bills?

While bankruptcy might not seem like your first option, it might be best to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional. A common mantra is – as soon as you start to consider bankruptcy, you probably should have filed six months ago. Typically, you can only hurt yourself by waiting. You increase your debt, begin to miss payments and start to sacrifice one bill in favor of paying another. This level of stress and anxiety can be quickly resolved through the power of the Bankruptcy Code.

There are two kinds of bankruptcy that are used for personal financial trouble in most situations. These are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, liquidation bankruptcy, is common and uses your assets to pay back some of what you owe. Although you will have to liquidate some of your assets, it is unlikely that you will lose everything. The point of bankruptcy is not to put you in a position where you have no financial options a second time.

If you have a good income but are in over your head with bills, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option. This bankruptcy requires you to make monthly payments over the course of a three- or five-year repayment plan. Once you complete it, you are able to move on and have remaining debts discharged. It may be a long road, but it can help you get a payment you can afford and help you as you develop a healthier budget.