Lately there’s been a lot on the news about the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling and even the US on the verge of bankruptcy. All one has to do is pick up a financial paper or go on the inter-web and they will see many articles even about a $23 trillion credit bubble that is starting to collapse in China. It seems that no one is immune from bad financial news globally. Let’s face it, the world has been living too high on the hog for too many years. The big banks have been behind a lot of the financial problems by loaning money to people and even countries that can’t afford to pay it back. All they care about is getting their interest payments monthly and are not too concerned about paying them back. The US is now close to the breakeven point where the taxes that are collected won’t even pay the interest on the US debt. The government recently reported that unemployment was down to 6.7% but zero hedge said that unemployment is closer to 37% and is higher than it was in the 30s after the Great Depression. What the government is not accounting for, is all the people that lost their jobs and never found a new one before losing unemployment insurance. If it wasn’t for all the social programs, like food stamps, there would be long soup lines just like there was in the depression.
Now, many people are once again dangling at the end of their rope not knowing what to do next. Creditors once again have become overly generous allowing Americans to get in historically deep debt like we’ve never seen before. People are now using one credit card to pay another one so they are able to continue charging and digging themselves a deeper hole. At some point in time the only thing that will help this group of people is filing bankruptcy.
When a person decides filing bankruptcy is in their future, they should speak with a bankruptcy attorney about the process. Although it is possible to file for bankruptcy on your own, it’s best to have the help of a bankruptcy attorney. The first thing the attorney will need to do before filing bankruptcy is fill out the bankruptcy petition. In most cases, a bankruptcy attorney will use an online software that has a secure web portal that allows their clients to log in and submit all of their information to help populate the bankruptcy petition. This will keep the bankruptcy attorney from having to go back and forth with their clients while trying to pry information out of them.
The bankruptcy petition includes all financial information about the person filing for bankruptcy. The information will be divided up into schedules and that is where the bankruptcy attorney really comes in handy. For the layman, knowing where to put information can be complicated and sometimes can cost the person money or even property if the bankruptcy petition is filled out improperly.
The schedules of the bankruptcy petition are divided into real property, like real estate or land on schedule A and personal property will be listed on schedule B. Schedule C will be a list of all the bankruptcy exemptions protecting the property from schedule A and B. The secured debts will be listed on schedule D, priority debts will be listed on schedule E and unsecured debts will be listed on schedule F.
When filing bankruptcy, the petition will be filed with the bankruptcy court and at that time the individual will be given a date of when they will need to appear at the 341 meeting or meeting of creditors. At this time, the individual will meet the bankruptcy trustee and be asked questions regarding the bankruptcy petition. Once again this is why it’s good to have a bankruptcy attorney representing the individual. When a person is being represented by a bankruptcy attorney, they have the assurance of a professional to handle their case so as to avoid any problems along the way.