Disclaimer: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not legal advice and not intended to create or form an attorney-client relationship. It may constitute Attorney Advertising. Licensed in Massachusetts only.
It took a pandemic, COVID-19, but it happened. America’s families finally came to the reality they were sitting on a ticking debt bomb, and it just went off. Sadly, many aren’t prepared and it is through no fault of their own.
I am writing this piece to save people’s financial sanity and their retirement accounts, but most importantly, to give back what we all need a little of right now, peace of mind.
My name is Dara Sandau, and I am a bankruptcy, debt, and credit solutions attorney in Massachusetts. I know many of you professionally, but some may have never heard of my firm Sandau Legal or me. I don’t practice a sexy area of law, bankruptcy. Bankruptcy often gets avoided like the plague, typically from those that are in debt-denial or under some other misconception bankruptcy. I hope this article changes its perception.
Right now, I want you to know you have complete control over one portion of your finances, your debt. How you choose to handle your debt now will determine where you end up financially down the road. Hopefully, this means AVOIDING a lawsuit, a foreclosure, a car repossession, or an eviction.
In my opinion, debt is the simplest and most solvable problem of the COVID-19 crisis.
Finding or maintaining a job, good health, or ever being able to resume life as usual, not so much.
Before I deep dive into why you need to continue reading this or why you should contemplate speaking with me, I want you to know you are not alone.
Right now, there are thousands of people in your exact same situation trying to take care of their families and put food on the table. Right now, the only thing you have to do is be brave, become financially educated, and act responsibly.
It is my goal to make this last step to reach out to an attorney, comfortable. To do this, I am providing my Massachusetts readers with a complimentary attorney consultation. In this consultation, you will leave having an understanding of both your legal and financial options but most importantly, understanding how to respond to your debt and credit positions.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a chapter in the American legal code that lets both individuals and businesses have a fresh financial start, and either restructure, reduce or eliminate their existing debts. Bankruptcy eligibility is based on income and debt load. Not everyone is eligible or qualifies to file bankruptcy, which is why it is essential to consult with an experienced bankruptcy or debt and credit solutions attorney to learn your options.
In other parts of the world, bankruptcy is shunned like leprosy, but not in America. Here, America is a nation of capitalism, and bankruptcy is its cornerstone. Without bankruptcy, our country would never have innovation or entrepreneurialism as people would never take risks.
Famous people like Donald Trump, Abraham Lincoln, 50 Cent, T-Boz, Henry Ford, Toni Braxton, and other ordinary people have filed for financial mercy, I mean bankruptcy.
But, bankruptcy is not just for entrepreneurs, famous people, or businessmen or businesswomen alike. It is also designed for regular everyday people like you and me that have been hit unexpectedly through unplanned life events, like illness, divorce, unemployment, and as we are experiencing it now, the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bankruptcy code, in general, is quite broad and generous and even lets those that were challenged mathematically in financial education and financial management get a fresh start to learn from their spending habits and mistakes.
I don’t think anyone ever thought in a million years, a nearly entire country would wake one morning thinking their jobs would be gone. Or, that we would be involuntarily entered into playing a game of survival of the fittest for months on end; living like caged animals in our homes, only coming out for feedings or other essentials to live.
Common Bankruptcy Misconceptions- Sandau Legal Bankruptcy Guide
Most people are fearful of picking up the phone to call a bankruptcy attorney because they fear they will be told they will lose their home, car, retirement account, or other assets in bankruptcy. WRONG!
I am happy to report that although this may happen in some cases, it rarely does. Typically in bankruptcy, you lose mostly your debt.
Why? The bankruptcy code is not designed to leave people broke or homeless. As previously stated, our bankruptcy code in the US is quite generous. Within this complex system exists exemptions. These exemptions are what permits most debtors to maintain ownership of their homes, cars, retirement accounts, etc.
Feeling fearful you will never be able to finance a car or buy a home? Think again.
Most debtors who file bankruptcy can buy or finance a car in as few as six months and a new home within two years. Why? Because people who have filed bankruptcy have become financially rehabilitated and have taken accountability for their debt. As a result of the bankruptcy filing, these candidates often have excellent debt to income ratios, making lenders view them excellent candidates for loan repayment.
I could drone on all day long about all the ways bankruptcy provides people a fresh financial start, but I don’t want to spoil the fun of our conversation when you reach out, so I will address the last BIG elephant in the room.
Will people know if I filed?
Generally, no. Unless you tell people you filed or they have tons of time to search a massive database no one usually finds out or even cares.
Bankruptcy is a public record and is on your credit report for up to ten years, but it is not like in the olden days where everyone in town read who filed bankruptcy, who had their home foreclosed, or who was facing eviction, etc. For the most part, bankruptcy is a private matter. Typically, the only people notified of your bankruptcy filing are your creditors and others holding title to your property.
In closing, COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, but your debt could. I hope this article has allayed your fears of bankruptcy and inspires you to seek help if necessary. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to consult with an experienced attorney to learn how to reset your financial picture and learn how to make your recovery out of this pandemic a financially smart one.