Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic provides first-rate representation to Illinois consumers who would prefer to avoid bankruptcy. While filing for bankruptcy in Chicago allows you to eliminate or restructure your debt, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, the damage to your credit rating may make it more difficult to borrow money in the future.
We are keenly aware that no one is immune from financial troubles: a job loss, medical emergency, unexpected expenses. Because filing for bankruptcy will have lasting repercussions, however, we often recommend other alternatives before filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
At Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, we will offer you trustworthy advice and objective insights so that you can make informed decisions. By taking the time to understand your circumstances, we will work to help you find ways of avoiding bankruptcy.
If filing for bankruptcy becomes inevitable, you can take comfort in the fact that you explored other options with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. Because we understand the financial challenges facing you, your initial consultation will be free, and we offer flexible payment plans. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can help you avoid bankruptcy.
How Can I Avoid Bankruptcy In Chicago?
If you are experiencing financial trouble, bankruptcy is not your only option. Depending on the circumstances, there are a number of preventive measures you can take to avoid bankruptcy, including:
- Sell your property — A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as liquidation bankruptcy because some of your property will be sold to settle your debt. In this situation, a trustee decides what to sell or liquidate. The way to avoid this and take control is to sell some of your property before bankruptcy becomes inevitable. Whether it’s a second car, furniture, electronics, jewelry, or other valuables, selling items that you can afford to part with will provide you with money to pay off some debt, which is a better option than forfeiting your property in a bankruptcy filing.
- Pay down your debt — Consider whether you can afford to pay off your debts over a period of time by reviewing your budget and cutting expenses for cable, cell phones, food, entertainment and transportation. If you are already on a low budget, consider increasing your income by taking a part-time job. Taking these steps will allow you to pay down your debt over time, which is what would invariably be required in a reorganization bankruptcy under Chapter 13.
- Ask Creditors for Help — If you are struggling to pay your debts, let your creditors know you are having financial troubles and want to avoid bankruptcy. Because creditors would rather get some money from you rather than nothing at all, they may agree to lower your monthly payment, reduce your interest rate and waive late fees. Credit card companies and banks are not obligated to work with you, however, and may decide to file a debt collection lawsuit against you, which could force you to file for personal bankruptcy.
- Debt Consolidation Loans –Another way of avoiding bankruptcy is to combine all your debts into one loan with a lower interest rate and just one monthly payment. You may be able to consolidate credit card and other debt into a personal loan, or, if you own a home, a home equity loan. It takes a skilled bankruptcy attorney to weigh the pros and cons of a debt consolidation loan, however.
- Consumer Credit Counseling — Seek the help of a professional credit counselor who has experience negotiating with creditors. While obtaining credit counseling is a precondition of filing for personal bankruptcy, doing so proactively is a way to avoid bankruptcy. A consumer credit counselor can work with you and your creditors to establish a repayment plan and help you stick to a budget.
- Debt settlement — Under normal circumstances, settling debts with creditors is not the best option, but it may be necessary to avoid bankruptcy. Rather than use a debt settlement company, enlist the services of an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney. These companies charge high fees and make dubious claims to settle debts for pennies on the dollar. In any event, keep in mind that debt settlement requires making a lump sum payment to settle the debt as soon as an agreement has been reached.
When you consult with Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, you will be provided with the advice and guidance you need to make the best decisions about your future. We are committed to helping you find ways of avoiding bankruptcy and organizing your finances.
When Should I Consider Bankruptcy?
If you are facing insurmountable debt, being sued by creditors, or at risk of losing your home, filing for personal bankruptcy may be the best option. For individuals with few or no assets, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will result in a discharge of your unsecured debt. If you have property that you intend to keep (e.g. a home, car), filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your debts into a 3-5 year payment plan.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers
If you are facing insurmountable debt, turn to Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic. When you become our client, we will explore the alternatives to bankruptcy and help decide whether filing bankruptcy is the best option. Above all, we will provide you with informed representation and advice you can rely on. Please contact our office today for a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy lawyers.