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Debunking Myths About Bankruptcy

Debt can feel like a heavy weight, dragging you down and making it difficult to see a way out. When considering financial options, many people considering bankruptcy are held back by common misconceptions about eligibility for the relief and about possible negative economic repercussions. 

To be clear, the purpose of bankruptcy is to give debtors a fresh start, not to cripple them financially. Here are some of the common myths that should be summarily disregarded:

  • Myth #1: Filing for bankruptcy means losing everything you own — This is simply not true. Bankruptcy laws come with exemptions that allow you to keep essential assets like your car, a reasonable amount of home equity and household belongings. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the exemptions that apply to your specific situation.
  • Myth #2: Bankruptcy ruins your credit forever — While a bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for a period of time (seven to 10 years depending on which bankruptcy chapter is used), it’s not a permanent black mark. In fact, many people find their credit score actually improves after bankruptcy because they are relieved of crushing debt. Responsible credit card use and timely payments after filing can significantly improve your credit standing.
  • Myth #3: You can only file for bankruptcy once — Though there are limitations about refiling, bankruptcy is not a one-time shot. Different chapters of bankruptcy have different waiting periods before you can file again. However, with responsible financial management after your first filing, you may not need to resort to bankruptcy again.
  • Myth #4: Only irresponsible people file for bankruptcy — Life throws us unexpected curveballs. Job loss, medical crises or a divorce can all lead to overwhelming debt. Bankruptcy isn’t a badge of shame; it’s a legal tool available to honest people facing financial hardship.
  • Myth #5: Filing for bankruptcy is a long and difficult process — While there are necessarily legal steps involved, an attorney can guide you through the filing process efficiently, handling the paperwork, court appearances and creditor communication and minimizing the burden on you.

Bankruptcy isn’t a magic solution, but it can be a powerful tool for regaining control of your finances. By eliminating most or all of your debt, you can free up resources for necessities, reduce stress and start planning for a secure future. Don’t let popular misconceptions prevent you from availing yourself of this opportunity. 

At Jeff Field & Associates, our attorneys will give you candid and thorough advice about the advantages and implications of filing for bankruptcy. We represent clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area from our offices in Athens, Douglasville, Gainesville, Lawrenceville, Marietta and Scottdale. To schedule a consultation, please call 404-381-1278 or contact us online.

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