The last few months have been difficult for many in our community, and now a lot of families are struggling to stay on top of their finances. Bankruptcy can help a lot of people, but depending on your situation, there are other options to help you get out of debt. Here are a few tips for getting started:

Team Effort

First, set financial goals, then speak with your loved ones to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Talk with your spouse and make sure he or she is on board. Let your kids know about the goal and help them figure out a way they can help. If your significant other is unwilling to help or make the necessary sacrifices, you can talk with a financial advisor about separating your debt from your spouse.

Budget(!)

Budgets are crucial if you want to gain control of your finances. Not only do they help you keep track of your spending, so you don't buy things you can't afford; they also help you prioritize your spending so you focus on the payments you want and need to make the most.

Speak with a Professional

A lot of people want to take the easy way out on finances, so they'll apply for loan modifications or try credit counseling. Both of these options can make a big difference, but they don't work for everyone.

Loan modifications fall through all the time, and credit counselors may not be able to help with huge debts. If you're facing foreclosure or are deeply in debt, don't depend on these options alone. Seek help from a qualified attorney who can help put a legal and binding stop to things like foreclosure, wage garnishment, and car repossession.

Prioritize Debt

If you have a lot of different debts, make sure to pay certain ones first. You can discuss the exact details of your financial situation with your bankruptcy attorney or financial advisor. You may also want to pay off small debts at the beginning of your debt-free journey. It can help you feel more confident and build momentum to get used to the feeling of paying off a debt, even if it's not a big one. Just keep in mind that leaving larger debts for later will mean you accrue additional interest. If you are planning on filing for bankruptcy, though, consult with your attorney before paying any unsecured debts.

Bankruptcy

A lot of people who come in to see our attorneys have tried every trick in the book before they come to us. Sometimes they see bankruptcy as shameful or wrong but bankruptcy is a valid option for people who have no feasible way to pay off their debts.

Perhaps you've lost your job or face sudden medical bills. Perhaps your spending has gotten so out of control that your income couldn't possibly cover what you owe. Perhaps you're so behind on your mortgage, that you could lose your house before you ever start getting your payments back on track.

In these situations, bankruptcy can be a life-saver.

If you want to get out of debt but feel like it's an impossible goal, we would be happy to talk through your options with you. We can let you know if bankruptcy would help; and we'd be glad to guide you through rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy.

Call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or you can email us and schedule your free consultation.

COVID-19 Finance & Other Resources:​​

Kansas: http://covid.ks.gov/?fbclid=IwAR1HU52wLUl2Dp8S6oRYCDvOlvEZl_NuoAHPv1YO3xlYR5u0rp_fUynukTI

Missouri: https://showmestrong.mo.gov/citizens/?fbclid=IwAR2_zMiJv0FdS6uy75JTqyZJ92s4FWrmk8cueM8GgpnBuZgBciTwDs1CK94

Jackson County: https://www.jacksongov.org/1187/Jackson-County-COVID-19-Resource-and-Rec?fbclid=IwAR3UNavlJspk3fFS3BROT54uigRshhlaksWHXO03_cwuicfwvoATS1s2v4w\

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 

https://dhhr.wv.gov/Coronavirus%20Disease-COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx

Food and Drug Administration:

 https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-issues/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

U.S. Department of State:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html

Department of Veterans Affairs:

 https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information: 

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/02/coronavirus-scammers-follow-headlines

Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities (CDC):

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html

Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City
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