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If you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom financially, it’s likely that you feel overwhelmed, stressed and worried about your future. The number of companies offering you debt relief “help” just complicates matters. Which one offers the true solution to your problem?

Many people treat bankruptcy as a last resort, the last option once all others have failed. After all, filing bankruptcy means you are a financial failure, right? Wrong! Here’s the truth: Draining your savings, taking out more loans to pay back other loans, and pursuing debt consolidation won’t help you sleep better at night. Bankruptcy offers a number of benefits that other debt relief solutions don’t.

For example, when you file bankruptcy:

  • Creditors and debt collectors MUST stop calling you or sending you letters or email.
  • Garnishment of your wages (where debt collectors take money from your paychecks) MUST cease immediately.
  • Foreclosure proceedings MUST be put on hold.

This is because of what’s known as the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay is a legal function that prevents creditors and debt collectors from harassing you while you get your affairs in order. Furthermore, Florida’s bankruptcy exemption laws allow you to protect important things – including your house and your car, in many cases – from the bankruptcy proceeding. No other debt solution offers this kind of protection or peace of mind.

So, when is it time to declare bankruptcy? Here are some indicators that bankruptcy might be a good option for you:

  • You have trouble sleeping or eating because you’re worried about debt.
  • You are so far behind in your mortgage or car payments that you have no hope of getting caught up.
  • You always seem forced to make the tough choice between paying your bills or taking care of your family’s needs.
  • You are living paycheck to paycheck because of your debt.
  • You have been laid off or suffered some other financial setback like an injury or health issue such that you drained your savings.
  • You have been sued for nonpayment by a creditor or you’re fearful of being sued any day now.

If any of the above describes your situation, it’s worth talking through your options with a skilled bankruptcy attorney. You want someone who will listen to your story and give you an honest evaluation of what bankruptcy can do for you.

Ultimately, the decision whether to file bankruptcy – and whether it’s the right option for you – should be up to you. A good bankruptcy lawyer will help you weigh the pros and cons, and then guide you through each step in the process if you decide to file.