What happens if I declare bankruptcy?
Each year, more than 1 billion people file bankruptcy according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. While some are credit abusers trying to escape their responsibilities, most are normal, everyday, hard working people who have hit upon hard times. The loss of a job, medical bills, or a divorce may be all it takes to tip the scales. Bankruptcy does give debt relief by wiping your debt slate clean, but it is not something to be done lightly. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is used by most individuals. Bankruptcy is a federal court proceeding. From start to finish, it can take anywhere from four to six months. It is almost always necessary to hire a lawyer and may cost you as much as $1,000 in legal fees and other fees. Once you start the process, you may not be able to stop it. While the law does allow you to keep certain basic rights to property in most cases, you may lose the right to keep or use your car, your home, or other personal property depending on your circumstances. Also, if anyone co-signed your loan or credit card, they remain responsible for the debt and will become the target of collection efforts if they haven't already become so. To learn more about bankruptcy and whether it is right for you, visit the American Bankruptcy Institute Web site's consumer education center.
Personal Loans Frequently Asked Questions
What is a payday loan?
How are payday loans different from other loans?
What are the benefits of a payday loan?
What are the drawbacks of a payday loan?
What do people use payday loans for?
Who qualifies for a payday loan?
Can you get a payday loan if you have bad credit?
Is a payday loan right for me?
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What is fringe banking?
Should I consider applying for a personal loan online?
What rights do I have when applying for credit?
What is a secured loan?
Can I get a personal loan if I have bad credit?
What is an unsecured loan?
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What can I do to improve my credit score?
What is predatory lending?
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I thought debt was bad. Why should I build credit?
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What is a debt management plan?
How can I avoid debt management scams?
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What do I do if my bills aren't getting paid?
Should I use the equity in my home to consolidate debt?
What alternatives are there to home equity debt consolidation loans?
Should I consolidate my credit card debt onto one card?
Where can learn how to manage my money better?
What is a debt repayment push plan?
What is a budget?
How do I set up a budget?
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What's the best way to pay off my bills?
How can I pay off bills more quickly?
What is a "smallest first" debt payment plan?
What is a push payment debt payment plan?
Should I transfer my high interest debt to a lower interest credit card?
Should I consolidate my high interest debt by taking out a home equity line of credit?
What's the best way to pay off high interest credit cards?
What is a short-term personal loan?
Do traditional banks offer short-term personal loans?
What are the benefits of a short-term personal loan?
What are the drawbacks of a short-term personal loan?
What are the alternatives to a short-term loan?
What should I consider before I take a personal loan?
Should I take out a larger amount than I need at the moment?
How do I know if I'm getting a fair interest rate on my loan?
Are there minimum amounts I can borrow on a short-term basis?
What is a short-term bridge loan?
What is a guaranteed loan?
What is a co-signer?
Should I take a loan that requires I get a co-signer?
Should I co-sign a loan for my friend?
Are there steps I can take to protect myself as a co-signer?
Can I get my name taken off a loan after the fact?
Should I put my car up as collateral?
Should I get a guaranteed online loan?
Where can I find information on building, maintaining, or repairing my credit?
Should I take a loan or use my credit card?
Why was Check 21 necessary?
What are the terms of Check 21?
What are my rights under Check 21?
What are my responsibilities under Check 21?
What are my bank's responsibilities under Check 21?
How did check processing used to work?
How does check processing work under Check 21?
Do I need to do anything different to avoid bouncing check?
Can I get bank fees back that were charged in error?
Where can I find more information on Check 21?
What is a late fee?
Why did my interest rate go up?
Why did my interest rate go up on my other credit card?
Why did I get a late fee when I paid on time?
How can I avoid late fees when paying by mail?
How can I avoid late payment fees when paying electronically or by phone?
Can a credit counselor get my credit card company to stop charging me late fees?
Can I get a different due date to avoid late fees?
What should I do if I know I can't make my payment on time?
How can I manage my money better to avoid late fees?
Why do I overspend?
What are spending triggers?
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How can I find money to save for goals?
How will I pay for my kids' college and retirement?
Where does all my money go?
How can I make better spending decisions?
Am I a compulsive spender?
Where can I get help for my compulsive spending?
What is a debt relief plan?
Will setting up a debt management plan affect my credit?
What are my debt relief options?
Should I consider bankruptcy?
What happens if I declare bankruptcy?
Can I get credit in the future if I declare bankruptcy?
Will all my debts be wiped clean if I file bankruptcy?
Should I transfer my credit card balance?
How do I get my creditors to leave me alone?
Can I negotiate my own debt relief plan with creditors?