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Understanding the Alternatives to Filing for Bankruptcy

Posted by attorney John Malaise

When dealing with your debt, the one thing that can be said is that there is no one-solution-fits-all. Every person will have different circumstances that brought them to their debt and will be dealing with different extenuating factors. For that reason, it is important that you do not attempt to give a blanket answer to your case. Just because you are dealing with debt does not mean that you file for bankruptcy. Again, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t file – it just means that it is a topic that deserves careful deliberation and thought.

Don’t let a pushy law firm convince you that filing for bankruptcy is the right solution before you look at all of your options. There are many ways that you can use to help reduce your debt that could be even better suited to your individual case. For example, in some cases, the best way to reduce your debt could be the most obvious: save more. By cutting frivolous spending and learning better financial patterns, you might be able to find an organic solution to dealing with your debt that can set you up on a better financial foundation for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, however, this cannot always the desired solution. In some cases the debt is too far gone for any simple fix like that to do any good. This is where an attorney will be able to help you address all possible alternatives. For example, you could possibly look to negotiate the interest rates on your loans. This could be for payday loans that you have taken out of on credit cards; while not always possible, an aggressive attorney might be able to help you reduce your monthly payment or come up with lower interest so that you will be more easily able to afford paying it off.

Another alternative to bankruptcy is known as debt consolidation. This is exactly what it sounds like – it is a way in which you are able to consolidate the many different lines of debt that you have open into one, secure debt. This is, preferably, a debt that has a lowered interest rate. This way, you can get the peace of mind of only have to pay one debt per month – at a secure rate and for less than the many different interest rates that you were dealing with before.

If you find that you are facing foreclosure, it is also important that you realize that there are many different solutions that you can utilize in an attempt to save your home. Bankruptcy might seem like the glaring choice, but the truth is that it might be too extreme. For example, you could look into what is known as a short sale. In this alternative, you are able to sell your home – typically for a price that is less than what you owe. In this option, you would work out an agreement with the lender to allow for the debt to be settled for less than the actual price and they would receive the profits from the sale. This is not always the most desirable alternative because it means that you are without your home, but it also means that you’re no longer underwater in payments you cannot afford.

Another option to avoiding foreclosure is to look into the possibility of a deed in lieu. In this option, you would hand over the deed to your home to the lender – this would settle the debt in and out of itself. In this option, you again lose your home, but you do not suffer from the black credit mark that foreclosure would put on your record. You are also able to settle your debt completely, getting yourself on financially stable ground once more.

Finally, it is in your best interests to look into what is known as loan modification. This alternative allows for a lawyer to negotiate with your lenders in regard to your loans – no matter whether it is for a mortgage or in regards to a car payment. The agreement could include a lengthened loan period for more time to stretch the payments over, less interest rate or could even be arguing for a reduced balance. While it seems unlikely that the lenders would be agreeable to this, the truth is that lenders don’t want you to file for bankruptcy as they would likely never see their money in that option. At least by modifying the loan, they will be able to see some of the money returned.

These are just a small sampling of the different alternatives that are available to you if you are currently struggling with debt. The best way in which you can know for sure what the best option for you is to talk to an experienced Houston debt relief attorney in the area. You should not feel pressured to file for bankruptcy – and by working with a knowledgeable lawyer you will be able to come to the solution that you are most comfortable with, and the one that helps you put your life together once more.

Additional resources provided by the author

Located in Houston, Texas, the Malaise Law Firm stands ready to help their clients with all matters of bankruptcy needs. Over the years, they have shown a natural ability to help clients who find themselves struggling with debt. No matter whether they are guiding clients through the bankruptcy process or if they are helping with foreclosure defense, they remain dedicated to ensuring that their clients have the comprehensive assistance that they truly deserve. Should you choose to work with a Houston bankruptcy attorney from their firm, you will be able to be confident knowing that they will invest the time and energy necessary to truly ensuring that your life is put back together once more. They know what’s on the line and will do everything that they can to help you. Want to know more? Give their firm a call today to schedule your initial case review.

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