When should you consider filing personal bankruptcy? 

Families facing serious financial challenges are strongly encouraged to seek some objective direction before bankruptcy, the last resort, is necessary. As discussed in the previous column, the best place to start is to contact a non-profit agency to help you work through your financial circumstances before your more serious options are forced upon youOne such non-profit is Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, a highly regarded United Way-supported organization. You may receive a confidential courtesy initial session via telephone or a virtual session.  Contact them at 336.896.1191 or at info@financialpathways.org. 

If you have made every reasonable effort to work out your financial obligations on your own and you cannot, you may need to consider filing a petition in bankruptcy to get the protection of the federal bankruptcy court.  If you do file bankruptcy, it generally is noted on your credit record for several years.  But it may be the best choice of some less than ideal choices for your family.  

A chapter 7 bankruptcy refers to the chapter in the federal bankruptcy laws.  Its purpose is to give debtors a “fresh start.”  It helps parties to wipe out or extinguish a significant portion of their general (unsecured) debt, such as credit card balances. 

Who qualifies to file?   

This article was original written by Mike Wells and published by the Winston-Salem Journal. To read the full article visit the Winston-Salem Journal Online here.