In today’s world of credit cards, student loans, and refinanced homes, most people are carrying a significant amount of debt. If you are lucky, you have manageable payments that—while far from fun to pay—can easily be budgeted into your monthly finances. An even more common scenario is that while you make your payments each month, it is always a tight squeeze that leaves you anxiously awaiting your next paycheck.
What if the Unthinkable Happens?
While the economy is improving in some areas, unemployment is still a very real problem facing many Arizonans. Whether your company is downsizing, cutting hours, or simply closing its doors, if you suddenly find yourself without a job, it can feel as though your entire world is caving in. Suddenly, even your manageable payments seem monumental, and you know that you can only defer bills for so long.
When you are facing debt and unemployment together, you have a huge challenge in front of you. Bankruptcy may be a good option for you to consider, but how do you know if it is the correct choice for you?
To File, or Not to File
The decision to file for bankruptcy following unemployment is a difficult one that comes down to two primary factors: your job outlook and your current assets.
If you have recently lost your job, it is best not to act too quickly when it comes to filing for bankruptcy. There are limits to how often you are allowed to file, and if your unemployment lasts longer than expected, your debt may continue to mount after your initial filing. If you are not anticipating being out of work for long, such as a seasonal or temporary layoff, filing may allow you to start fresh and stay on top of your bills once your wages resume.
Your assets are another important consideration. If a significant amount of your property is exempt, your creditors are very limited in what they can seize from you in order to repay your debt; this means that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could benefit you and your situation. Large amounts of nonexempt assets, however, could mean the opposite, so proceed with caution. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the answer, but making a payment schedule on your unemployment benefits could be an unforeseen challenge.
Seeking a Knowledgeable Advisor and Moving Forward
Juggling the struggles of unemployment and overwhelming debt is hard enough without having to thoroughly analyze the ins and outs of bankruptcy law. Seeking the help of an experienced Arizona bankruptcy lawyer can help ease your mind and start moving your financial situation in a positive direction.
The Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten are here to help you make the next step. Call now for a complimentary consultation with a lawyer at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 888-929-5292.