There are certain trigger words that can have negative connotations in some circles, and bankruptcy is one of them. As attorneys who help people who are struggling with debt in Portland, Vancouver and other cities in Washington and Oregon, we definitely understand this dynamic, but it is misguided. Bankruptcy is a legal tool. If you are experiencing financial difficulties for any reason, the law allows for corrective actions so that you can get back on track financially.
At the same time, a very significant percentage of people who file for bankruptcy handled their finances perfectly well until they were confronted with unexpected health care bills or other expenses. A study that was conducted in 2016 by T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard along with National Public Radio and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shed some interesting light on the subject. Over a quarter of the respondents stated that health care expenses that accumulated over the preceding two years yielded very negative financial consequences. Four out of ten received collection calls from health care providers, and 23 percent of the poll participants were forced to take on credit card debt that will be hard to manage. Seven percent of these individuals had to file for bankruptcy.
Regardless of the underlying circumstances, bankruptcy can give you a fresh start, and you are not necessarily being unfair to your creditors if you take this route. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you simply reorganize your debt and make payments that you can afford. The court requires you to utilize all of your disposable income after you pay for the basic necessities of life to pay down your debt. Creditors really can’t ask for anything more than that. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy does wipe away unmanageable debt, but you can’t qualify for this type of bankruptcy if your income will allow you to pay back your creditors.
We understand the fact that we discuss very delicate financial matters when we consult with our bankruptcy clients in Portland, Eugene, TriCities, Vancouver, and the other cities that we serve. This area of the law is our passion because we sincerely enjoy helping people. There is no need to feel any sense of uneasiness or trepidation. If you will like to obtain more information about bankruptcy before you proceed further, you can learn a lot if you read through our frequently asked questions. When you are ready to move forward, you can send us a message through our contact page to request a complementary, no obligation case evaluation.