Popular Myths Preventing Many Consumers from Enjoying Financial Relief with Atlanta Bankruptcy
It's been estimated that 18 million households in the U.S. could see an improvement in their financial situation by filing for bankruptcy, according to ConsumerAffairs.com. Yet well under 2 million actually take advantage of bankruptcy protection.
Many folks are so afraid of bankruptcy they end up missing out on the only practical solution for their debt problems.
Recently, Bankrate.com looked at the top myths that keep Atlanta residents and other Americans from finding relief. In many cases, struggling consumers fear further damaging credit, losing all their assets, and embarrassing themselves.
The sad reality is that many people who resist Atlanta bankruptcy often end up filing later anyway because they've run out of other options. By that time, their credit may be in the worst possible shape, they probably have no money left, and they may have lost their home to foreclosure.
Bankruptcy is a government-created legal proceeding to help consumers manage overwhelming debts while protecting their best interests.
Filing for bankruptcy in Atlanta won't be the solution for every family. Some consumers may be able to successfully alleviate troubles by cutting costs, getting a refinance or loan modification, or negotiating with creditors. However, these options are simply not possible for everyone.
When you're drowning in debt, bankruptcy protection can be a lifesaver. Read on for Bankrate.com's top bankruptcy myths - and the truths behind them.
You'll lose important assets
While Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows for readjustment of debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy has the ability to eliminate many unsecured debts completely. This is why it's known as liquidation - and why many consumers fear it will require turning over their most precious personal possessions. In some cases, filers can be asked to give up assets. However, most people complete bankruptcy without losing any property at all. Each state has its own long list of exemptions - including everything from homes to retirement savings. If you're making payments on an item, you're legally allowed to keep it.
You'll wreck credit irreparably
One of the biggest reasons people avoid bankruptcy is worry about doing credit damage. Yet most people who file have a credit score that can't get much lower. It doesn't make sense to avoid bankruptcy in order to preserve credit when it may be the only action that allows you to start making the financial improvements necessary to rebuild credit.
You'll embarrass yourself
Yes, a bankruptcy filing is a public proceeding. But it's not going to be published in your local newspaper. If someone wants to find out if you've filed for bankruptcy, they'll have to either request a copy of your credit report or go to the bankruptcy court, look up your file number, and ask a clerk to view it. Unless you are a famous celebrity being investigated by a tabloid reporter, it's unlikely that someone is going to dig up details about your financial life. In many cases, bankruptcy helps keep a person's finances private by discreetly helping them get back on their feet before they suffer a foreclosure or have to resort to borrowing money from friends and family.
More Blog Entries:
Atlanta Bankruptcy May Help Consumers Plagued by Wave of Mortgage Errors: February 1, 2012
Atlanta Bankruptcy Can Alleviate Stress Caused by Debt Problems, Lack of Financial Willpower: January 23, 2012
Many Consumers Wait Too Long to Seek Bankruptcy Help, by Mark Huffman, ConsumerAffairs.com
12 Myths About Bankruptcy, Bankrate.com