Like so many things in life the answer to this question is “that it depends.” The right advice for one person can be the wrong answer for someone else. A person laid off from a restaurant is in a different situation than a person who is working for the federal government.
Recently, some clients have mentioned during their consults that they’ve read that this is the “perfect” time to file for bankruptcy. While I certainly think that bankruptcy will have to be the answer for many people, bankruptcy isn’t the answer for everyone.
Why You Should Schedule A Consultation
However, this is probably the perfect time for anyone who is struggling with their bills to schedule a free bankruptcy consultation, especially if you ever wake up in the middle of the night asking any of these questions:
- What happens if the mortgage company won’t defer my payments?
- What if all of my credit cards won’t work with me?
- Will I be able to make next month’s car payment?
- Will I ever be able to get caught up on my rent?
- Is my electricity going to get cut off?
- What will I do if I get laid off?
- Will I have a job to go back to when this is over?
When the world is so uncertain, knowing your options can give you some peace of mind. Even if you don’t ultimately decide to file for bankruptcy, spending an hour on a consult to get some answers might help you sleep a little better at night. (See our post Budgeting for Coronavirus for help on figuring out how to prioritize your bills.)
Why You May Need To File For Bankruptcy
That said, there are a number of reasons why this may be the time for many people to file for bankruptcy. If you have been struggling to keep up with your credit cards and other bills—and now you are out of work—this may be the time to file. You don’t want to use the Federal Stimulus check to get caught up on your minimum credit card payments, only to end up behind again next month. (See our post What Should You Do With Your Government Stimulus Check? for advice on what to do with that money.)
Another reason this is the perfect time to have a consultation is just a matter of scheduling. If you are laid off or teleworking, now may be the best time for you to do a video or phone conference with me. And while the Bankruptcy Court is open, they aren’t conduction hearings. That means I have openings on my calendar. Once things are back to normal, finding time for free consultation work will be more difficult.
The “perfect” time for filing for bankruptcy is when you have to file. But I find that most people usually come to me about 6 months after they should have filed. Don’t wait until you think you have to file for bankruptcy to find out your options.
Knowing your options—even if that option is filing for bankruptcy—is better than not having any answers at all. Even if things work out and you don’t have to file for bankruptcy, you won’t regret having learned about your options. So if you are waiting to hear back if your landlord, mortgage company or credit card company will work with you, give us a call and schedule your free bankruptcy consolation. Then we can figure out if bankruptcy is the answer for you.