Few things are more stressful and frustrating than not being able to pay your bills. Debt can feel downright crushing—especially if you are behind on your bills and the amount you owe just keeps growing each. Bankruptcy is a legal tool that helps people get back on their feet. The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) reports that 7,783 people filed for bankruptcy protection in the state of Nevada alone in 2020.
Although it is far from rare, filing for bankruptcy is a big step. You may want to know: Is it the right time to file for personal bankruptcy? At Vohwinkel Law, we want to make sure that everyone has the information that they need to best solve their financial issues. In this article, our Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney highlights the key things that suggest it is time for bankruptcy and explains your options for getting out debt.
Five Signs that Suggest You Should File for Bankruptcy Protection
If you are dealing with financial distress, you may be considering bankruptcy. At the same time, you might not be sure if it is actually the right choice for your situation. In far too many cases, people actually wait too long to take bankruptcy seriously. Here are five key signs that indicate that you can benefit from filing for bankruptcy protection:
- You are Unable to Make Minimum Monthly Payments: If you cannot reliably make your minimum monthly payments, you are a candidate for personal bankruptcy. As CNBC explained in a 2020 report, there are serious consequences to missing minimum monthly payments, including penalties fees, higher interest rates, and damage to your credit score. Although one missed payment is far from the end of the world, many missed payments require corrective action.
- Your Total Debt is Going Up, Not Down: Ideally, your total debt load will be going down each month. With debt that is decreasing, there is clear light at the end of the tunnel. You can calculate how long it will take to pay off the amount you owe entirely. However, if your debt is rising each month—and shows no sign of stopping—a solution is needed. Personal bankruptcy protection could be the answer you need.
- You are Getting Non-Stop Calls From Debt Collectors: Are you dodging phone calls from debt collectors? Are you afraid to open certain bills? If so, you are not alone. Many thousands of people across Southern Nevada are dealing with similar financial issues. Unfortunately, debt is not going to go away on its own. When the debt collection calls never stop, it is a sign that bankruptcy might be the right option.
- You Were Recently Served With a Lawsuit By a Collector: There are strict rules and regulations that creditors and debt collectors have to follow before filing a lawsuit. Under Nevada law (Nev. R. Civ. P. 4.2), you must be notified. If you received a notice that a lawsuit is pending, it means that debt collectors are ramping up their efforts. You need to take action. It is a strong warning sign that it is time to consult with a Las Vegas bankruptcy law attorney.
- You Do Not See a Way Back to Stable Financial Ground: Finally, one of the primary signs that you should consider filing for bankruptcy is that you simply do not see a reasonable path forward back to financial stability. Are you having trouble seeing any way out of debt? If so, it is time to set up a confidential initial consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer. There is always a solution to debt. An attorney can help you find the right answer for your situation.
Bankruptcy is a highly personal matter. Every case is unique. Still, if any (or all) of these signs apply to you, it is highly recommended that you schedule a free, strictly confidential initial consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer. An attorney will conduct a more in-depth review of your finances and help you determine if bankruptcy is the right option.
Know Your Debt Relief and Bankruptcy Options Before You File
Before you file for bankruptcy in Nevada, it is crucial that you understand all of your available options for getting out of debt. Among other things, a bankruptcy lawyer will help you consider and evaluate:
- Non-Bankruptcy Debt Relief Options: Though it is certainly a valuable tool, bankruptcy is not the right option for every case. In some circumstances, a non-bankruptcy debt relief alternative may actually be more effective. For example, you may be entitled to a loan modification.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection: Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy. By filing for Chapter 7, a qualified individual may be able to wipe out most or all of their outstanding debts. It might be the best way to get a fresh start. To get more information, reach out to an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Las Vegas.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Protection: The main alternative to Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also referred to as a ‘wage earner’s’ plan. When you bring a successful petition for a Chapter 13 restructuring, most (or all) of your debts will be combined down to a single, affordable monthly payment. The repayment plan will last between 36 months and 60 months. Call our Las Vegas Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney today for help with your case.
Contact Our Las Vegas, NV Bankruptcy Lawyer for Immediate Help
At Vohwinkel Law, our Nevada business bankruptcy lawyer is here to help you solve problems and get out of debt. It is never too soon to talk about your financial situation with a qualified legal professional. We can help you figure out if it is the right time to file for bankruptcy. For a free, comprehensive review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact us today. From our Las Vegas office, we provide personal and business bankruptcy services throughout the whole region, including in Paradise, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Enterprise, and Summerlin South.