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What are some benefits and downsides to bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy isn't something you ever saw yourself needing, but unexpected financial losses have made it difficult to resolve your situation on your own. You're tired of struggling to make ends meet, and you want to protect your property and prevent foreclosure.

People in your position have many different options. Bankruptcy is just one that your attorney can talk to you about. There are, of course, benefits and downsides to choosing bankruptcy.

For example, if you have primarily secured debts, bankruptcy may not help you much. Tax debts and school loans are hard to dismiss. On the other hand, if you carry debt on credit cards or in other unsecured forms, bankruptcy may help you eliminate what you owe so you can move forward with a more stable financial outlook.

Another thing to consider is how your credit will be impacted. If you are still making payments on time but are struggling, other options may be a better choice. Negotiating down your interest rates or looking for ways to lower your payments may work in that case. Bankruptcy is hard on your credit, and it does take years for your credit score to recover. It may be a few years before you can seek out a home loan, and it will take time to clear the bankruptcy from your financial history.

Your attorney can give you information on the types of bankruptcies that exist. Depending on your situation, this may be an option that is good for you and that can help you resolve your debts without dragging out the stressful situation you're in.

Source: FindLaw, "Pros and Cons of Declaring Bankruptcy under Chapter 7," accessed June 16, 2017

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