Single parenting is tough, but it is even more so if you've accrued a mountain of debt and are living precariously from paycheck to paycheck. The strain of debt drains your energy, along with the strength you need to be a parent, away from managing the household and doing what's right for your kids. Debt can wreak havoc on your physical and mental self, especially since there are people depending on only you to feed, house, and care for them. If you feel like you're completely buried by the burden of your debt and your lives are about to collapse under the pressure, it's time to call a bankruptcy attorney.
The Technicalities Of Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
No legal process is without stress and confusion unless you've studied law; thus, it's important to hire a qualified chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer you feel comfortable talking to. There will be a lot of paperwork and a few appearances in court, among the many other technical details of filing:
- In-depth credit counseling.
- A comprehensive list of your debt.
- A detailed report of your income, including tax returns.
- A profile of all your assets.
- Plans to repay your debt, which will be court-approved and enforced.
- Trustee assignment, who will work with you through the entire process.
- Meetings, oversight, and confirmations to ensure your plan is workable, followed, and eventually, discharged.
The complicated nature of any bankruptcy mandates legal counsel or you risk mistakes on paperwork or not being in compliance at every step. The actual proceedings are the most difficult, but once you've worked your way through a few legal hoops, things should begin to fall into place.
The Ways In Which Filing Will Make Your Life Easier
As tense and overwhelming as it all is, filing for bankruptcy, when there's no viable alternative, will actually make you feel a lot better, along with improving your outlook in a number of ways:
- You'll get an immediate sense of relief because you're finally taking steps to resolve your financial situation, rather than just worrying about it.
- Your home won't be threatened, as chapter 13 arranges for mortgage payments to be restructured, staving off the foreclosure that's been staring you down.
- The entirety of your debt will be packaged into one consolidated payment, uncomplicating your paperwork and streamlining your efforts.
- Any co-debtors you have should be protected if a family member or friend cosigned any loan for you.
- There will be a light at the end of your financial tunnel when you've reached the goal of repaying the agreed-upon debt.
- You will, undoubtedly, be much wiser by the time your bankruptcy is fully discharged.
As a single parent, you must have a sense of control over your lives and those of your children, which is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve when your finances are out of control and debt is stalking you. Those long, lonely nights of languishing over bills and how you're going to make ends meet should be behind you very soon.
The Burden Of Chapter 13
Despite how filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you, it's not all sunshine and roses. Your bankruptcy lawyer will advise you of the potential drawbacks, which vary according to individual circumstances, but usually include the following:
- A diminished credit rating.
- Difficulties securing new credit.
- Challenges when moving, since your credit rating isn't exemplary.
- Being denied a new job if the potential employer requests a copy of your credit report and they hold that criteria for hiring.
You also face the uphill battle of meeting the requirements of your bankruptcy filing, meaning paying your agreed-upon debts in a timely manner; however, if you've really given thought to your agreement and sought the best legal advice, these hurdles will be manageable and are favorable over the other possibilities, such as continuing your currently impossible financial situation or losing the home that your family is living in.
Filing for bankruptcy can ultimately resuscitate your financial strength, along with giving you a much-needed sense of control over your life and the lives of your children. The burden of debt is one of the heaviest things any household can face, but as a single parent, the weight is even greater for you. Call a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer and start the process of getting your strength, sanity and financial sovereignty back.