It doesn’t take a lot of searching to find media types or columnists offering advice on how to get out of debt. Some suggest credit counseling; others say you should call your creditors and try to work out a settlement.
But what many don’t offer advice on is looking into bankruptcy in Los Angeles. In fact‚ most of the articles don’t suggest bankruptcy at all‚ even though millions of people each year file for bankruptcy in order to get away from the debt that has dogged them for years.
Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyers understand that there is a bad perception of bankruptcy. But that image is usually discarded when compared to living a life ruled by creditor calls‚ letters and e-mails‚ wage garnishments‚ and the embarrassment this harassment causes daily.
We know that getting by from day to day can be difficult. People are out of work‚ some have mounting medical bills and yet others have trouble making mortgage payments regularly. It is exacerbated when lenders want to take your hard-earned money and charge you high-interest rates and tack on hidden fees at a time when you could use a little break.
Well‚ bankruptcy is not only a little break‚ but a big break. By completing the process‚ consumers can discharge all of their debt — regardless of how long it has been there or how much is owed — depending on the circumstances. This is by no means an easy or quick process and it requires the experience of a trusted bankruptcy lawyer‚ but it has its benefits.
For those who are on the edge of bankruptcy‚ but who are looking at other options‚ here are some techniques to consider before looking at bankruptcy:
If the monthly mortgage payment‚ typically the highest bill in a household‚ is getting difficult to afford‚ talk to your lender about negotiating a better rate or a lower monthly payment. There may be federal programs that banks have enrolled in that can help you in your situation.
A word of caution‚ though. Many banks are unwilling to work with borrowers because foreclosure may be more profitable to them. While federal programs have been created‚ they aren’t mandatory and have been rarely used.
Interest rates can soar to 33 percent for people who are late with payments or who have bad credit scores. A solution is to pay more than the minimum or take advantage of 0 percent transfer offers or low introductory APRs. As always‚ read the fine print. The average fee for transferring your credit card balance is 3 or 4 percent‚ which can add up fast. If you can’t pay off the debt before the introductory period ends‚ this may not be a good strategy as you’ll just end up in the same spot as before.
PRIVATE COLLEGE LOANS
In 2007‚ the average undergrad left school with more than $12‚000 in debt. Typically‚ student loans have low-interest rates so they are easier to pay off‚ but they start up right after graduation. And with jobless rates high‚ these can be tough to pay off.
It may be possible to consolidate all private loans for a lower interest rate‚ though that is rare.
Long a much-talked-about topic‚ healthcare costs are soaring and are quickly becoming one of the top reasons people consider bankruptcy. Make sure your insurer is paying its fair share. Sometimes‚ hospitals use strange codes for procedures and medication‚ which insurance companies don’t recognize‚ so they don’t pay. Contact your medical provider to ensure they are paying what they are supposed to. Don’t assume they are.
Nader‚ Naraghi & Woodcock‚ APLC will provide a free consultation to help guide you in making a decision that works for you. In Encino‚ Glendale‚ and Los Angeles‚ just call (818) 446-1334.