The COVI-19 pandemic has hit people in West Virginia in very difficult ways. With the coronavirus still affecting communities and businesses have reopened, a lot more people will file bankruptcy claims. If this unprecedented time has left you experiencing financial difficulties, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Before you file, here are things you must know:
Be Aware of Your Options
If your debt is becoming unmanageable, you can either make minimum payments or negotiate a settlement with your creditor before you file for bankruptcy. Usually, you can get back on your feet without turning to bankruptcy. An experienced Charleston, WV bankruptcy attorney can help you decide whether filing for bankruptcy is the right thing for you to do. Despite the difficulty you are facing, some banks and loan services may still work with you. Although bankruptcy can offer significant financial relief, you should use it only as a last resort.
Inform Your Lender First
A lot of regulators, financial institutions, and lawmakers are offering several assistance programs you can benefit from. These include hardship programs that let you defer some payments such as credit card debt, student loan debt, and car loans. If the pandemic has pushed you into financial hardship, contact your lender and see if they offer assistance programs. Don’t wait until you begin incurring late fees.
Know What Other Options You Can Take
If you believe you can’t meet your financial obligations despite the availability of assistance programs, consider taking other steps. If you have a mortgage and the total exceeds the value of your home, ask the lender if you can quality for a loan modification, which will change your loan’s terms. Work with a lawyer who can negotiate with the lender for you and prepare all required paperwork.
If you have an unmanageable credit card debt, ask the lender to negotiate a settlement or a debt management plan. You may need to work with a non-profit debt counselor who will consolidate your debt into a single monthly payment. Credit card companies will usually agree to a settlement when you can make a lump sum payment that pays back a part of your debt. Once you make the payment, your debt will be considered paid.
If you are worried about your debt that has gone through the roof and considering bankruptcy, contact a bankruptcy lawyer. Your lawyer will guide you through the bankruptcy process, help you understand what to expect, and ensure you are well prepared.