Filing for bankruptcy in Las Vegas can seem intimidating. You need a lawyer. Everything seems so official. You have to disclose lots of information.
But if you think about it, the “Alternatives” may be even more intimidating. You just haven’t thought concretely yet about the consequences of bankruptcy alternatives. (It’s also worth mentioning that if you have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, then the process really isn’t so intimidating.)
Here’s a list of 3 common bankruptcy alternatives and reasons to be wary of them:
1. Debt Settlement: As in, “We’ll help you pay back your debts for just pennies on the dollar!” Don’t believe the hype. First off, these companies are unregulated and generally have an unsavory reputation. They generally require you to pay an up-front fee (always a no-no in dealing with your debt). And once you’ve paid, they don’t have much incentive to exert a lot of effort on your behalf. Lastly, we’ve seen too many people need help with an “emergency bankruptcy filing” after first trying to work with a debt settlement company.
2. Debt Consolidation Loans: You’ve heard of these as well. They claim they’ll deal with your debts and replace it with one consolidated loan from them. But this is just shuffling the cards around. You still have the same debt. Only bankruptcy actually lets you get rid of debt. Plus in some cases the interest from debt consolidation loans can skyrocket and overwhelm.
3. Do Nothing: Perhaps the worst strategy (other than the two listed above). Often people will believe they are “judgment proof” because they have little or no assets and no employment. However, a creditor can still seek a judgment against you and then hold on to it until you do earn some income, at which time they can take it away from you or garnish your wages. Bankruptcy is the only process for actually cleaning your slate of judgments against you.
Bankruptcy may seem intimidating. But in all of these cases, the main advantage is that you have resolution which enables you to move forward in your life without worrying about past problems. Debt Settlement, Debt Consolidation and Doing Nothing all leave your financial situation very much up in the air.
For a free Las Vegas bankruptcy consultation with Haines and Krieger, set up your appointment easily online using our client intake form.