Summertime and Debt Problems

Memorial Day has passed, and summer is officially here. As a Pittsburgh bankruptcy attorney, I have always found there is a noticeable dip in people calling to consult about filing bankruptcy in the height of summer (and Christmas, as well). It makes sense in a lot of ways. It's a time to enjoy the outdoors (those days are certainly limited in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania!) and it is the time most families use to take a vacation. It's not a natural time to think about debt.

However, there are several circumstances when you should probably put off thoughts of BBQs and the beach, even just for a couple hours to consider your options in a free consultation.

  1. Creditor lawsuit- if a creditor has sued you, you might be facing a default judgment and resulting lien on your property. This includes liens on bank accounts, which could lead to direct deposit paychecks being lost to your creditor. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can wipe out these lawsuits and liens. Filing a bankruptcy is something you should consider immediately if you are facing a lawsuit. My office can inform you if any lawsuits are pending.
  2. Increase in income- if your income is due to increase in the near future, you may want to consult a Pittsburgh bankruptcy attorney immediately. The increase in income could push you from a Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which means you will need to repay some or all of your creditors. It could also increase the amount of money that must be repaid in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Commissions and bonuses also count as "income" for bankruptcy purposes, so if you get these annually in summer, now is the time to act in filing bankruptcy. Timing is always important in bankruptcy, and it shouldn't be dictated by the weather.
  3. Filing a bankruptcy takes time- Setting up a payment plan, collecting all the documents needed to file, and completing the required courses takes some time and effort. It's normally a process that takes weeks, even months in complicated cases. The sooner you start, the sooner you can be finished, and the process won't bleed into important things (like Steelers season)
  4. Stop harassing calls and letters- nothing can dampen a nice summer faster than a string of harassing phone calls and letters from a creditor. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop this contact through the "automatic stay", which occurs immediately upon filing. Once a bankruptcy is filed, your creditors are forbidden by the bankruptcy automatic stay from contacting you in any way. Enjoy your summer in peace and quiet.
  5. The pluses of bankruptcy outweigh the negatives- While summer may not seem like the ideal time to file bankruptcy, it really not that hard to do. It's a lot easier to enjoy your summer when your mind is free and clear from concerns about debt. If you can do something affordable, that doesn't take too much effort on your part, and it removes perhaps your greatest, most pressing concern... why wait until Fall?

I am an experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy attorney who can help you consider all your options, bankruptcy or otherwise. Summer is actually a great time to give yourself a new financial start. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.