Do you remember when you were a kid and you hesitated to get in the water? Were you the kind of kid that slowly got in or did you just take the plunge? Do you remember how good it felt when you finally made the jump?
As a kid, I remember thinking to myself, “This water might be too cold for me.” Eventually, the oppressive Georgia summer heat would drive me to the point of taking the plunge into the refreshing water.
Are you ready to take the plunge?
I’ve heard many potential bankruptcy clients say to me, “I just don’t know if I’m ready to take the plunge. I heard from friend that bankruptcy will ruin your credit forever. I just don’t know if I’m ready.” There are so many myths floating around about bankruptcy. Click here to read my list of the top 10.
As a bankruptcy attorney, I don’t ever want to push a potential client into filing a case when they are not quite ready. Has anyone every pushed you into the water when you were not ready? I’ve experienced that and I hate it. Don’t ever jump until you are ready.
However, don’t make the mistake of waiting too long either.
The 401k mistake
One of the most common mistakes I see people who are considering filing bankruptcy make is to drain all of their 401k money. When a person files bankruptcy, as a general rule, one hundred percent of their 401k is exempt from creditors. In my fifteen years as a bankruptcy attorney, I’ve seen so many people try to hold off the inevitable by draining all of their retirement accounts. If you are at the point where tapping into your 401k is the only way you can keep up the monthly minimum credit card payments, it might be time to file bankruptcy. At the very least, you need to meet with a bankruptcy attorney.
Other examples of when you may need to make the jump are:
- you are behind on your mortgage payments and the mortgage company is threatening foreclosure.
- you are so stressed out by the collection calls that it is affecting your health.
- a collection lawsuit has been delivered to your house and you are freaking out because you know you are being set up for a potential garnishment.
- the car company has called and says that they are coming out tomorrow to repossess your car.
When you file bankruptcy, the foreclosure stops. The collection calls stop. The lawsuits and repossessions stop. I’ve heard so many clients tell me, “I wish I had made the jump sooner.”
Don’t let anybody push you in if you are not ready. However, it might be time to at least meet with a bankruptcy attorney and explore all of your options.