Bankruptcy might help you get your life back on track once you become overburdened with debt. If you were honestly trying to make things work, this program exists to provide some relief.
However, honestly trying to make things work can mean different people. To some, it means soldiering on past the point when bankruptcy could have done the best.
When people think about bankruptcy
Chances are that you are thinking about bankruptcy if you are reading this article. When you should think about it seriously is up to you, but there are some potential signs:
- The amount of interest your debts are generating is a large percentage of — or even greater than — your income
- You routinely cannot pay your debts or bills
- You believe that the bank might try to foreclose on your home or that your landlord might try to evict you
These are not the only reasons that you might plan for bankruptcy. However, they are some of the most common problems bankruptcy helps people solve.
When people begin the process
Starting bankruptcy too late might make some of its benefits less effective. One example of this is how the automatic stay works.
The moment you file bankruptcy, the court issues an order that should stop creditors from doing various things — at least temporarily. This might include repossessing your car, evicting you from your rental unit or foreclosing on your mortgage. It could also stop bill collector phone calls.
The caveat is that if you wait too long, these processes might already be underway. That might reduce the benefit that bankruptcy’s automatic stay could otherwise provide.