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Myth: bankruptcy is the easy way out

In recent posts on this blog, we've been looking at some of the alternatives to filing for bankruptcy. We've looked briefly at options like credit/debt counseling, debt settlement, consolidation of debts, liquidating assets, and generally making lifestyle changes to reduce monthly costs. We've also looked at filing a Chapter 128 action as a bankruptcy alternative.

It is important for debtors to be aware of these options so that they don't prematurely turn to bankruptcy to address their financial problems. Practically speaking, though, most debtors who get to the point of seriously considering filing for bankruptcy have already done a lot of what can be done to help themselves. We pointed this out in a recent interview with the Wisconsin Law Journal. 

Those who think that filing for bankruptcy is the easy or lazy way out don't understand the requirements of the process or the type of people who typically pursue bankruptcy. In our experience, the vast majority of people who file for bankruptcy protection are aware of the gravity of filing for bankruptcy, the consequences it can have on their credit, the possibility of losing property in the process, depending on the form of bankruptcy pursued, and so on. They may not know all the details, but most are aware that bankruptcy is a last resort, not some quick fix.

In addition, bankruptcy requirements are not easy to meet and those who do meet the filing requirements are not people who are in a good position to handle their financial problems on their own. In future posts, we'll look a bit more at this issue as it relates to both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Source: Wisconsin Law Journal, "Miller guides clients through bankruptcy maze," MaryBeth Matzek, May 4, 2016.

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