You may think that it should be obvious if you are headed for the type of financial situation that requires a bankruptcy filing. But in many cases, a number of issues come to a head at the same time, leaving consumers confused and unsure about where they are and if bankruptcy is on their horizon. If you find that your financial situation is unclear, consider these signs that you may be headed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Signs That You May Be Headed for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing:
- You have frequent calls coming in from creditors.
- Your credit card debt continues to increase each month.
- You do not have a savings account or a “nest egg.”
These signs do not necessarily mean in every circumstance that you are headed on a path to bankruptcy with no other solutions or choices. It could mean that you have only recently become aware of the situation and you may be able to take steps in your spending that could remedy the situation with dedication to a new budget, etc.
If this isn’t the case and you are actually trying to be financially solvent, but the above signs are evident in your personal/family finances, you may be headed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy more quickly than you realize.
Chronic late payments or non-payment of credit accounts result in calls from creditors and their seemingly endless number of representatives that want to know what’s going on, why you haven’t paid and when you’re going to pay. If the situation has already started to escalate, they won’t leave the topic there. They’ll want to know how much you’ll be paying, when you’ll be paying and how you’ll be paying. And that’s only after they can’t talk you into making an immediate payment over the phone. These calls from creditors can range from extremely professional (or automated) to very intimidating. It all depends on the amount you owe, how late the payment is, etc. Some creditors, in some situations may be willing to “strike a deal” with you regarding payment – coming up with an alternate plan to pay. Be careful when considering this type of suggestion. It may be best to consult an attorney prior to agreeing to terms.
If the credit card statements arrive each month and the balances are always higher than they were the month before, in spite of your efforts to make payments to bring the balance down, you are in trouble. If you make the minimum payment on a credit card, you should have no expectations that you will pay off that balance. The calculations of interest in addition to the fees for late payments, skipped payments, over limit charges, etc. there is almost no way that a consumer will pay off their credit card debt while making the minimum payment. Using credit cards for everyday purchases instead of cash is a major danger sign as well. The balances can add up extremely quickly. Without proper management, they very quickly escalate to unmanageable proportions.
Many individuals headed towards bankruptcy not only don’t have a substantial “nest egg,” but they live week to week/paycheck to paycheck. This indicates a lack of opportunity to put away a few dollars from each paycheck. A lot of people will live this way their entire lives, but it leaves consumers vulnerable to the unexpected. In this situation, it doesn’t take much of a “surprise” to lead directly to financial ruin.
If you are worried about your financial future and feel that you could be headed towards a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, please get in touch with one of the experienced southern California bankruptcy attorneys at Westgate Law.