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Bankruptcy Help - Different Types of Available Services

Nov 5, 2007
Filing bankruptcy can be overwhelming. Suddenly you're thrust into a world of legal terms and mounds of paperwork you can barely understand. Is there help available? There sure is! Whether you can afford to hire a bankruptcy service or not, you can find the help you need to make this important decision easier to make - and manage. Here are a few places to start:

Credit Counseling:
Credit counselors have been trained to help you delve through your financial record and determine if bankruptcy really is your only alternative. All-too-often overburdened people who don't know how to handle bill collector's panic and file for bankruptcy before they really need to. A credit counselor can advise you as to any alternatives you may have including debt consolidation; how to have a portion of your debt forgiven and setting up repayment schedules with your creditors. In addition, they often offer help in setting up a budget and learning to stick to it.

Some credit counselors charge hefty fees for their services, but there are plenty of not-for-profit agencies throughout the United States eager to help those facing financial ruin. Check your yellow pages or local college or bank for information on any near where you live.

Debt Consolidation Services:
The purpose of these services is to help you consolidate your current debt into one lower monthly payment that is more easily managed. The danger to using these services is, that unless you also undergo intensive budget training you're apt to be right back in financial trouble in no time. Be sure when consolidating that you use this opportunity to break the cycle of spending that got you into trouble in the first place.

Another option some services perform is debt forgiveness. They contact each of your creditors, and try to convince them to forgive a portion of your current debt - sometimes as high as 60% -- with a promise of quick repayment. This is especially useful when consolidating debt since the less you have to pay back, the less you have to borrow in the consolidation loan. Why would a creditor agree to take less than you owe? The answer is simple: if you indeed file bankruptcy, they aren't guaranteed anything, or may have to settle for pennies on the dollar, so it's in their interest t get as much as possible now. While many will not forgive actual debt, most will forgive all of those late fees and interest charges.

Bankruptcy Lawyers:
Once you decide to file bankruptcy, hiring a qualified lawyer who specializes in the field will ensure that your case is handled in the best possible way and your paperwork will all be filed properly. This is not the time to try and save a few bucks. Hiring the wrong bankruptcy lawyer can cost you thousands in time and money in the long run. This is one of those times when you get what you pay for, so choose carefully - your financial future is at risk.

Bankruptcy help is available, if you take the time to look for and ask for it. Don't try t go it alone. Get the help you need to ensure that you can move forward with the confidence that you can learn from your mistakes and move on.
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