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Author Discusses Myths About Bankruptcy and Its Effect on Credit

February 2, 2010

Because we are Corona consumer bankruptcy lawyers, we spend a lot of time talking to our clients about the effects of bankruptcy and other major financial decisions on their credit scores. Many of our clients have misconceptions about bankruptcy and credit that can keep them from addressing their financial problems until after a lot of expense and emotional turmoil. That's why we were pleased to spot a Jan. 28 blog post on WalletPop.com interviewing the co-author of a book on living with bad credit. Geoff Williams, who authored Living Well With Bad Credit along with Chris Balish, told his own story about declaring bankruptcy and addressed some of the ways that people end up with bad credit in the first place.

For some people, Williams said, bad credit or a bankruptcy is truly out of their control because it's triggered by a major financial disaster like a serious disease or a job loss. But for many others, he said, one mistake snowballs into several more mistakes made to deal with the first one. For example, he said, buying a car that's too expensive for your budget could lead to higher credit card debt or suspending contributions to a savings account. Signs that your credit is slipping can be difficult to spot, he said, and emotionally difficult to acknowledge. Williams said that while credit matters, bad credit isn't the ruinous, financially crippling situation many people fear. In fact, he said, filing for bankruptcy "was one of the smartest financial decisions I've ever made." Even though it hurt his credit, it helped him get control of his finances and resume saving for things like retirement and his daughters' college tuition.

As San Bernardino individual bankruptcy attorneys, we believe this is true for many individuals who are backed into a financial corner. Some people regard bankruptcy as a failure or a sign that they can't handle their own finances. But in the right situation, bankruptcy can be a smart choice that gives you back the power to control your own future. When you literally cannot pay back all that you owe and that isn't likely to change, trying to pay it off just delays the inevitable. Draining retirement accounts or selling off assets to pay debts are common strategies, but they frequently aren't necessary to declare a bankruptcy, don't solve the problem and leave people in worse financial positions than before. A bankruptcy isn't anyone's first choice, but it can be the first step toward rebuilding savings, credit and a healthy financial life.

Howard Law PC represents individuals and couples in the most common types of consumer bankruptcy, as well as related legal services. We start all of our bankruptcy consultations by sitting down with clients and discussing their financial situations in detail, so we can determine whether bankruptcy is really right for them. If it is, our Whittier personal bankruptcy lawyers can guide them through the process of determining whether to file for a liquidation (Chapter 7) or reorganization (Chapter 13). We stand by our clients' sides during the entire bankruptcy, whether that's a few months or five years. We also advise clients on the implications of a bankruptcy for other parts of their lives and can handle related legal matters, like lawsuits against creditors who won't stop calling after the automatic stay forbids them from calling.

If you're considering a bankruptcy to deal with financial problems that you don't think you can control anymore, you should call Howard Law right away. To set up a free, confidential evaluation of your case, please send us an email or call 1-800-872-5925 today.