Monday, October 6, 2014

Six Alternatives to Filing for Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is a drastic measure, one which could have an impact on your financial future for decades. For most people, bankruptcy is only used as a final option. Despite this, bankruptcy should not be considered a financial death sentence—on the contrary, declaring bankruptcy often offers a second chance to those who would not otherwise have received one. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s possible that there are some other options to pursue before you go forward with a drastic action. Below are six different alternatives you may want to consider before filing for bankruptcy.

1. Use a Credit Counseling Agency

Before declaring bankruptcy, most people try to manage their debt. There are many credit counseling agencies that are, in fact, nonprofit organizations that just want to help. Such an agency can help you negotiate with your creditors and improve your financial situation. It’s always a good idea to seek professional advice for something as important as personal finance, so consider visiting a counselor before deciding on a repayment strategy.

2. Negotiate with Creditors on Your Own

In some cases, you don’t necessarily have to go through a third party to renegotiate your debt. If it looks like you may have no other way to pay off your bills, certain creditors may be willing to alter your payment schedules to give you more leeway. This can be difficult, however, and seeking professional assistance for negotiations is typically the best way to go about approaching creditors.

3. Sell Some of Your Property

If you file for bankruptcy, you may end up losing many of your assets. With this in mind, it may be better for you to sell your property on your own terms. For example, if you have a boat you have not used in many years, selling it to make a large payment on your significant credit card debt may be a good idea. Holding a yard sale and selling off many of the unused items lying around the house is a great way to put some extra money towards your debt payments and get rid of some clutter. 

4. Borrow from People Other than Creditors

While borrowing more money to pay off debt may seem illogical, it may be a good idea in certain cases. For example, you could borrow some money from family or friends. They are likely to be far more lenient than creditors. Just make sure to eventually pay them back to avoid strained relationships.

5. Slash Your Living Expenses

If a lot of your income is going to things other than debt, you can probably make some sacrifices to redirect some of those funds towards paying your debt down. Get rid of all unneeded expenses. It may be tough to only pay for the bare necessities for a while, but it will be worth it in the long run. Some of the most overlooked expenses are recurring automatic payments—cancelling your subscriptions to paid services that withdraw regularly from your bank account can save you hundreds of dollars every year. 

6. Consolidate Your Debt

Debt consolidation means restructuring all your debts into a new payment program. Debt consolidation can make paying bills less stressful and far easier to repay. It will also likely be cheaper than paying all of them off individually.

Though there are some good alternatives to declaring bankruptcy, for some it is the only way to manage their debt. A Mississauga credit counselor from Paddon & Yorke Inc advises those considering bankruptcy to first seek counseling to assess the options available to them. Being deep in debt is a difficult situation, but keep in mind that there are avenues available to help you recover your financial standing.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I accept filing for bankruptcy only as a last resort. It’s necessary to fight with financial crisis and problems and look for solution. These tips are very wise and will suit good for people who have such a problem. Fortunately, today we have a choice. I mean a lot of lending companies and financial services which help people to deal with money crisis. Of course, it’s necessary to change your life a lot to avoid bankruptcy because it’s necessary to save every penny. Also in this case it’s better to borrow from people than from cash lenders, for example, relatives or friends and negotiate absence of the interest rate, it will help to save some money.


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