Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Consulting an Attorney about Your Debt Early

When it comes to mounting debts, early intervention makes for a better overall solution. For this reason, The Nevin Law Firm in Nashville, Tennessee, recommends you consult with an attorney as soon as you realize that your debt is becoming a problem.

Dealing with excessive amounts of debt can be both financially and emotionally devastating. Harassing calls and letters from creditors, threatened foreclosure or repossession, and the loss of your good credit are enough to make you feel as though there's no way out. Fortunately, help is available for families who are struggling with debt.

However, most people who consult attorneys for help with their debt wait too long to do so. Often they allow themselves to fall so behind on payments that catching up doesn't seem like an option anymore. While debt relief is certainly possible at this late stage, addressing financial problems earlier allows us to minimize the potential for major consequences and to put a plan in place to get out from underneath oppressive debt in the most expeditious way possible.

Why to Ask an Attorney for Help
Rather than waiting until you've fallen behind on payments, it's important to seek help as soon as it becomes clear that falling behind is likely to happen. For example, if you're living paycheck to paycheck and are barely able to pay your bills each month, losing your job will likely be the straw that breaks the camel's back. By consulting with an attorney as soon as you've lost your job, you may be able to avoid falling into a particularly dire situation.

Likewise, if you don't have health insurance, a major illness or injury can create a serious debt problem quickly. All too frequently, medical bills, minimal savings and an inability to work are a recipe for financial ruin. An attorney may be able to help you find a way to deal with your mounting medical bills without jeopardizing your credit.

How Your Attorney Will Help You
Once you can see that you're going to have difficulty making payments on time, you should consider seeking legal advice. An attorney can help you find relief from oppressive debt in a number of ways.

Renegotiation: First, after talking with you about your financial situation, your attorney will help you determine the best course of action, represent you in hearings, and work with your creditors to re-negotiate your interest rates and payment terms. This will make it easier for you to meet your financial obligations on a month-to-month basis and to keep your credit intact.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: If negotiating with your creditors is not an option and you have a steady income, your attorney may advise you to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay your debts in a way that will be more manageable for you and helps you to restore your credit. When you file for Chapter 13, your debts are consolidated into a single monthly payment, the amount of which is determined by your income and amount of debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy not only lowers your monthly financial obligation, it also stops creditor actions against you and allows you up to five years to repay your debts.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: When all other options have been exhausted or if you don't have a steady source of income, your attorney may advise you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides you with permanent relief from the majority of your debts and stops creditor actions against you. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts are discharged and your assets, with a few exceptions, are distributed among your creditors. You are allowed to retain certain exempt assets. Your attorney will help you understand which assets you'll be allowed to keep after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Mounting bills and pressure from creditors can make anyone feel uneasy. Whether or not you ultimately choose to file for bankruptcy, getting an attorney involved as early as possible when debt becomes a problem offers you the best chance at a positive outcome. Remember, meeting with an attorney is the first step toward finding relief from debt and getting back on the right financial path.

For more information, visit www.TheNevinLawFirm.com

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