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Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney in Rochester, New York

Filing Bankruptcy May be Right for Your Consumer Debt Relief Problems.

The decision about whether or not to file for bankruptcy depends on many factors. If you are feeling overwhelmed with personal debt, you should start the process by talking to an experienced bankruptcy law attorney. The right lawyer will know what questions to ask.

The debt relief lawyer you hire will make a difference.

I am attorney Peter R. Scribner of Rochester, New York. I have more than 20 years of experience helping people get a fresh start by filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In my experience, bankruptcy isn't the right solution for everyone. When you call for a free phone consultation about your family's financial situation, I may end up recommending some better options.

We won't know if filing bankruptcy is right until we talk.

During our initial telephone conversation, I will ask you questions about your debts, your income, your expenses, and your assets. Most importantly, I will ask you why you are considering a bankruptcy and what you want to accomplish. I will advise you as to your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options. If bankruptcy needs to be explored more thoroughly, we will set up an appointment to review that option in greater detail. I invite you to read more about bankruptcy on this page. Contact me to start getting the straight answers you need.

Should you file for bankruptcy?

That decision is yours to make. Seriously. No bankruptcy attorney can — or should — ever say, "Yes, you should file a bankruptcy." Your attorney's job should be to clarify the consequences, good or bad, as well as your alternatives. In most cases, the answer is obvious. Once you have determined what you want to achieve and what options are available, you will be in a position to make an informed decision for yourself.

Let's get a little more specific. You are considering bankruptcy because you are concerned about your debts. Very broadly, you have three options in dealing with your debts:

  • Deal with debts and creditors on your own
  • Deal with debts through a reputable credit counseling professional
  • Deal with debts through bankruptcy

Let us consider a couple of these options

Deal with your debt on your own: You might be thinking, "If I could deal with my debts on my own, I wouldn't be looking for bankruptcy advice." That's probably true, but we must always consider this option. Dealing with your debts on your own involves several factors:

  • The amount of your debt
  • The kinds of creditors you are dealing with
  • Your income
  • Your level of sophistication
  • Your tolerance for frustration
  • The amount of free time you have

Negotiating directly with creditors is time-consuming and frustrating. As a general matter, national creditors are more difficult to deal with than local creditors, and secured creditors (mortgages, car loans) are much more difficult to deal with than unsecured creditors. In addition, if you are significantly behind on your payments, you may actually have more success negotiating a deal than if you are only a month or two late.

Consumer Credit Counseling: If your debts are not too high compared to your income, a legitimate program of consumer credit counseling may be your best option. For more on this option, see our page on credit counseling

Bankruptcy: So, if you can't possibly pay your debts as things stand, and you can't negotiate your own debt reduction, and if you have too much debt or too little income to qualify for a consumer credit counseling plan, then is bankruptcy your best option? Well, probably. But every situation is different. Bankruptcy offers a very powerful result — a legal discharge of your personal liability on most debts. But when you file bankruptcy, you are submitting your entire financial situation to a judicial court and — this is very important — once you file bankruptcy, you must assume you can't un-file or withdraw. That is why it is so important to clearly understand the risks and consequences before making your decision.

Contact me to learn more about my experience and how I can help you get a fresh start.