When Does It Make Sense To Declare Bankruptcy?

Believe it or not, bankruptcy isn’t just for rich people. Bankruptcy is one of the most stressful situations in which a person can be placed, and it isn’t always beneficial. Your circumstances are unique, and if you file, then you should make sure that the decision is the best one you can make under those circumstances. So when does it make sense to file for bankruptcy? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider the process.

First and foremost, if you think any of the items on this list apply to your situation, then get a bankruptcy lawyer. The first sit-down is almost always free, and it’s a good way to discuss your options before you make any decisions you can’t reverse later on.

Bankruptcy is a second chance, but most people view it as a punishment for those who let themselves fall into extreme debt. Even as you’re enjoying your second chance, it’s not without consequences, both financial and social. Be sure you’re ready to acknowledge and deal with both.

Other life choices may force you down the path to bankruptcy. Divorce is one such reason. If the financial situation after you split from a spouse looks dire, you might need a better option. Other reasons include potential lawsuits from a creditor, foreclosure, or finding yourself with no other choice but to pay bills by withdrawing from a 401(k) or using another credit card. If you can’t afford to eat without spending cold hard cash, then bankruptcy might be your last safe bet.

Before you file for bankruptcy, you should explore other avenues to debt-relief. You might start getting phone calls from organizations promising debt relief, but most are bogus. Anyone looking to profit from your situation isn’t offering a real solution. That said, there are nonprofits out there who may be able to offer you credit counseling services to better manage your debt or cut expenditures more efficiently than you’re doing on your own. If you find that you can’t budget, then it’s time to talk to people who can help.

Once you figure out that you absolutely cannot defeat your debt problems through any other means, try to talk to your creditor or consider programs that will help you negotiate down to a smaller sum. If all else fails, then and only then is it time to consider bankruptcy as a viable option. Be careful of upcoming bills: you won’t want to pay any big ones until you make your big decision.

When Is A Pro Bono Attorney Right For Your Case?

Attorneys provide pro bono services for a number of reasons. Some just want to help out those in need. Sometimes there are other incentives, like tax deductions. Lawyers are also told that they should offer a small number of pro bono hours each year, and some take this obligation more seriously than others. These attorneys work free of charge, and they usually provide their services most often to those who can’t afford to pay.

There are other options if you fall into that category. You could visit a law school to ask for advice from a law student who is certified to practice under a faculty member. You could find a legal aid society willing to help. Or you could find a pro bono lawyer. When is a pro bono attorney right for your case?

Well, there is no situation in which pro bono services would be inappropriate if you can’t afford the services of a lawyer on your own. There are situations in which pro bono services are more likely. One of these situations is a call for asylum.

If you’re living in a country where you’re persecuted or your life is threatened, then you might ask for asylum in the United States. Many of those seeking asylum are poor or in poverty. Many human rights attorneys and volunteers provide their services free of charge to these individuals. Organizations where these attorneys work will mentor, train, and guide lawyers through the process to ensure that asylum-seekers and their lawyers are fully supported.

Another situation is David versus Goliath. If you’ve been taken advantage of by a big company or corporation, but can’t hope to compete with a huge, expensive team of lawyers attacking you on every front, then you’re more likely to find a law firm whose lawyers will provide you with help on a pro bono basis.

Remember: if a lawyer or firm offer you their services pro bono, they’re doing you a favor. They have to run a business, but they’re giving up significant time and money on your behalf. Make sure you provide them with the information they need to properly help you.