Many people who come to me for a bankruptcy consultation are embarrassed about their financial situation. Some tell me that until now they have never missed a payment of their bills. However, they are at a point where they cannot pay their bills as they come due and are experiencing non-productive time worrying and sleepless nights.
After quantifying a client's priorities, it is generally clear that they want to keep their residence whether it be a house they own or rental unit because that is where they live. Car payments seem to be the next most important asset for most clients who need transportation to and from work.
Finally, we review credit card payments and find that most people in financial difficulty have an inordinate amount of credit card debt that has built up over the years. Sometimes, in order to be able to keep a residence or much needed car, clients need to stop paying their credit card debts. Client's sometimes bemoan the fact that they have been with a particular bank for 30 years and feel loyalty to them. However, the glut of credit card debt is a two-way street. The banks and credit card companies were quick to extend credit in past years and mail out unrequested credit cards in order to entice people into using credit to buy things they could not afford. It is my view that a client-debtor need not feel sorry for the large banks who have been bailed out by the US government and who have paid their executive officers record bonuses in recent years.
U.S. bankruptcy law begins with the Constitution. See Article I, section 8, which gives the Congress power to promulgate bankruptcy laws. It is said that the founding fathers as business men were acutely aware of the financial dangers that individuals faced when attempting to take risks in order to improve their lot. The English concept of debtor's prison was not incorporated into US law.
Bankruptcy is a federal legal right that in today's society does not create a stigma and is a very valuable tool for individuals and corporations.
New potential client's have many questions regarding bankruptcy, and the best way to have these questions answered is by contacting an experienced Westchester bankruptcy attorney who will spend the time necessary to provide enough information for the client to make a decision as to how to improve their financial standing. I will be glad to discuss your financial options if you contact our office to schedule a consultation.