Debt Relief: What Are the Alternatives to Bankruptcy?

Date Added: February 22, 2011

Author: Brian Reed

For the millions of Americans struggling with debt, there are a lot of voices that claim to help. Unfortunately, the variety and differences in the options can be downright disorienting. Here is a quick run-down on the options that you have to achieve debt relief.

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Debt Consolidation

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Debt consolidation simply means taking out a single loan to pay off a number of other loans. This method can simplify the process by requiring the debtor to only pay a single bill as opposed to keeping up with several. This single loan can offer a better interest rate than the ones before, which can help to pay off the loan faster. One of the risks of debt consolidation is that in order to obtain the loan, individuals must put up collateral in case they default on this single loan. More often than not, the collateral is their home. Additionally, most debt consolidation programs extend terms, which means though the monthly payment is lower, you are in debt longer, thus paying the lender more.

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Credit Counseling

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Credit counseling involves sitting down with a councilor to discuss how to avoid incurring debts that can’t be repaid. Additionally, it often involves establishing a debt management plan that helps a debtor repay debt. During the process, an individual can learn lots of great information yet in the end, some people who get counseling actually end up paying more than their original debt, according to one study. Credit counseling is also rife with scam artists who can disappear with your money overnight.

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Debt Settlement

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Millions of Americans have gone through a debt settlement program to handle their credit card debt. For a hefty fee, a debt settlement company will claim to settle your debt with a credit card company for less than the amount you owe. The problem is that debt settlement is an extremely difficult solution to pursue and many settlement companies don’t perform the services that they the process is confusing, costly, and could very well ruin your credit in the process.

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Bankruptcy

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Individuals can file for bankruptcy with a qualified lawyer who represents the debtor in court. The two main types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Once bankruptcy is filed, plans are drawn up to repay debts. In most cases, bankruptcy completely eliminates debt. In 2009, bankruptcy filings 34 percent nationwide.

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Some people may be too deep in debt for any of the above solutions to realistically work for them. That’s when bankruptcy is a good option. If you are seriously considering bankruptcy and you live in Southern California, contact the Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer that focuses exclusively on California bankruptcy laws, Borowitz and Clark L.L.P. Not all bankruptcy attorneys are the same. While the process appears complicated, a California bankruptcy attorney will be able to help you understand your options and avoid making bad decisions. You get one chance to file bankruptcy right the first time. The attorneys at Borowitz & Clark know what they’re doing, because bankruptcy is all they do. Unlike many firms, they never leave a paralegal or secretary in charge of a case. That’s why their cases succeed at such a high rate—even higher than many other bankruptcy firms. For a free consultation, contact a qualified Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer from Borowitz and Clark toll-free at 800-509-3200, or visit www.blclaw.com.

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Brian Reed. Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer To find an effective bankruptcy lawyer in the Los Angeles, California area with a successful track record, contact the law office of Borowitz and Clark at 800-509-3200.