Feeling like your checkbook is some form of a Chinese Finger Torture device with mounting expenses and no end in sight? Does it seem like every time you see a light at the end of your “financial tunnel” it turns out in fact to be a train aiming to run you over? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a report by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, there were over 800,000 bankruptcy filings in 2016 and while this number represents roughly a 7% decrease from 2015, this is a large number of people who have found themselves in severe financial distress. Are you feeling at the end of your financial rope? If yes, do not despair.
Let’s look at a bankruptcy success story, Abraham Lincoln. In 1833 Abraham Lincoln was not a politician, he was an entrepreneur and decided to open a “General Store” in New Salem, Illinois. With a booming economy and some experience working in his local community he saw an opportunity so he and a business partner started their business, purchased inventory, set up shop and then depression set in. The store wasn’t selling at the rate the upstart businessmen expected and the calls for payments due started mounting. Lincoln’s business partner passed away and he was forced to sell his stake in the business yet still owing creditors $1,000, a fortune in the 1800’s. The outcome of his bankruptcy was a seventeen-year payment plan to his creditors, loss of his horse and some equipment he owned but he prevailed and rebuilt himself, ending up in the White House.
Lincoln didn’t have the benefit of today’s bankruptcy laws which would have afforded him much more protections. For example, under Chapter 13, payment structures are typically five years or less not seventeen in Lincoln’s case. Also, key assets essential to continuing life, like a horse in 1833 would not necessarily have to be forfeited so under today’s laws you have options to keep assets like your house and cars when a bankruptcy strategy is properly executed. These new laws are very useful tools but they are complex and will impact your life; the end game can be most useful in overcoming an unexpected state of financial distress.
There are two primary bankruptcy filing vehicles, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 which have different qualifying factors. There are also remedies that may not require you to file for bankruptcy at all that will provide you a path to financial comfort. Whatever your case, do not believe myths about bankruptcy or get out of debt quick schemes you hear on the radio. It is essential, should you find yourself in financial distress that you take responsible action that will return you to solid footing and that you get the best professional guidance in this endeavor.
Call JD Haas and Associates today at (952) 345-1025. We have over 20 years of experience serving clients in Minnesota and can be an asset to you in the effort of protecting your assets and getting back to financial success and security.