Some people say that bankruptcy should be the last resort for anyone dealing with serious debt problems. However, this is not always the case.
There are many things you can do prior to filing bankruptcy that can do significant harm to your financial future. Sadly, many of these steps could be avoided if you had filed bankruptcy earlier.
Here is a list of debt solutions that can do more harm than good:
- Dipping into retirement savings. You could exhaust your retirement savings and still not solve your debt problem. Your 401(k) and IRA savings will be protected if you file bankruptcy.
- Skipping mortgage payments. If you get behind on your mortgage payments, you could end up losing your home. You would be better off making house payments and discharging credit card debts in bankruptcy.
- Skipping car payments: If you stop making car payments, the lender can repossess your car.
- Debt consolidation and settlement. For most people, debt consolidation and debt renegotiation do not solve the underlying problem of too much debt. You may end up paying a lot of money to a debt consolidation or settlement firm without getting the relief you need.
- Borrowing money from relatives. You could end up damaging family relationships over debts that could be discharged by filing bankruptcy.
- Payday loans. Payday loans will only make a bad financial situation worse due to the high interest rates these lenders charge.
Bankruptcy is the only debt solution that provides you with 100 percent discharge of many types of debts (including credit card debt and medical bills). Filing bankruptcy also provides you the full protection of state and federal bankruptcy laws, which prohibit creditors from harassing you, garnishing your wages or repossessing your property.
The Reed Law Firm in Columbia offers a free initial consultation to evaluate if bankruptcy is the best option for your debt problems.