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Consumer bankruptcy: Careful consideration of options may be key

When individuals in Maryland or elsewhere find themselves suffering under the hardships of debt, seeking relief could be crucial to their future. However, with numerous available outlets, the process can be somewhat intimidating, which might cause one to rush into an agreement that isn't what it seems. Those who are offered a settlement plan may find it beneficial to proceed with caution, as consumer bankruptcy could be a much more viable outlet for relief.

At first glance, an offer for debt settlement can be enticing, perhaps especially for those who believe that paying back their debts is favorable. Negotiating a lesser amount might decrease monthly payments, but it may do little to protect one against collection attempts and wage garnishment. In addition, their debts could continue to be subjected to interest rates and fees, and since the process can take years, the amount required to complete a settlement agreement may end up being close to the original amount owed.

By filing for bankruptcy, a person may be able to obtain protection from creditors through the automatic stay, which can stop the collection calls and letters from coming in. In addition, it may also provide immediate relief through the discharge of unsecured debts. While a bankruptcy will inherently have an impact on a person's credit, the alternative can have a similar effect, if not worse, and one might be able to begin rebuilding his or her credit shortly after a bankruptcy is finalized.

With the potential gravity of the outcome of one's decisions, obtaining guidance in pursuing a healthier financial future could be advisable. By speaking with a consumer bankruptcy attorney, a client in Maryland could obtain advice on every available option for relief, as well as the potential outcomes. An attorney can address a client's financial situation and provide advice on choosing the correct path with which to pursue financial relief.

Source: theeagle.com, "Liz Weston: Debt settlement a bad alternative to bankruptcy", Liz Weston, Accessed on Sept. 26, 2017

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