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Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Waiting to file for personal bankruptcy may be a major mistake

Sometimes, consumers in Pennsylvania find themselves struggling to keep their heads above water financially. However, some view filing for bankruptcy as the admission of both financial failure and personal failure. The reality, though, is that filing for personal bankruptcy may be one of the smartest moves a struggling consumer can make, and waiting might end up costing him or her more in the long run.

Research shows that, when people wait to proceed with a bankruptcy filing, they end up struggling longer. When they finally break down and file, their financial lives and well-being are already damaged. This ultimately undermines the fresh financial start that personal bankruptcy can offer them.

Obtaining a loan is possible following personal bankruptcy

At times, consumers find themselves facing mountains of debt with seemingly no place to turn. Fortunately, they can turn to bankruptcy court to overcome their debt situations. The question is, can those who file for personal bankruptcy in Pennsylvania still take out personal loans in the future?

More than 766,000 businesses and individuals filed for bankruptcy protection last year. The benefit of bankruptcy is that it can restructure a consumer's debt or eradicate his or her debt altogether. However, it can also hurt the consumer's credit score, causing it to drop between 130 and 240 points. As a result, qualifying for personal loans or lines of credit may prove challenging. Still, it is not impossible.

Chapter 7 and 13 personal bankruptcy options available

Most people in Pennsylvania experience financial setbacks at one time or another. In many cases, consumers can dig themselves out of their debt situations. However, if they cannot, one of the best ways in which to eradicate overwhelming debt is to file for personal bankruptcy.

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy exist for consumers. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically reserved for financially struggling companies, whereas Chapter 12 bankruptcy is usually reserved for fishermen and farmers. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy both have their unique benefits.

Divorce settlements include asset and debt division

You and your spouse may be treading new waters as you face divorce. This is an event you never expected and one for which you feel uncertain and confused. You may be facing emotions that are new to you, such as those you felt as you and your spouse systematically divided your belongings. Now comes a new challenge.

Pennsylvania is an equitable division state, meaning all assets accumulated during your marriage are divided fairly, though not necessarily evenly, between you and your spouse. However, this equitable distribution also includes your debts.

Maintaining sanity is possible during divorce property division

Managing finances is a complicated process. However, getting a divorce may make this already-complicated process even more complex. A few tips may help those going through divorce in Pennsylvania to maintain their sanity when navigating its financial aspects, such as property division.

First, it is critical to consider both sides of the property division issue. This can be difficult considering that tempers often flare during a marital breakup. However, making smart financial decisions -- ones that benefit both parties -- will lead to more harmony in both the short run and the long run.

Personal bankruptcy does not have to impact one's credit for long

Many consumers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere find themselves trapped in overwhelming debt, which can be confusing and frightening. However, filing for personal bankruptcy may offer these consumers the relief they need. Here is a look at the bankruptcy filing process and how it affects a person's credit -- one of the main concerns people have when it comes to seeking bankruptcy protection. The reality is that it does not have to affect a consumer's credit for long.

Two types of personal bankruptcy filings can be pursued. The first is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves fully liquidating one's assets to pay off debts. It takes a decade for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing to leave a credit report. Meanwhile, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing allows consumers to develop plans for repaying all or some of their debt during a three- to five-year period. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing will be removed from a consumer's credit report after seven years.

Staying organized can help when dealing with property division

When individuals get married, the last thing they typically think will happen is a divorce. However, many couples find themselves in divorce court years later because spouses cannot resolve their irreconcilable differences. Nonetheless, a willingness to be proactive may help with navigating divorce issues, such as property division, in Pennsylvania.

Being organized is critical during a divorce proceeding, as the more disorganized a spouse is, the more time he or she wastes, and time is money. An important step in getting organized is locating key documents early on. In fact, it may behoove a divorcing spouse to place these important documents in a binder that is indexed and labeled to make locating certain documents easier.

Personal bankruptcy filing may provide financial freedom

Individuals sometimes find themselves in dire straits financially, just as companies can. Fortunately, those experiencing tough financial times may be able to take advantage of personal bankruptcy. Here is a look at what filing for personal bankruptcy protection involves in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

People can choose to go through the bankruptcy filing process if their debts have exceeded their liquid assets. This can easily happen due to unemployment. Other reasons behind financial troubles include incurring large amounts of medical debt or consumer debt, or going through costly custodial or marital issues.

Property division can be major sticking point during divorce

The dissolution of a marriage in Pennsylvania can understandably take a toll on a person both emotionally and financially. This is true no matter how long or short of a time two people were married before deciding to get divorced. A few tips might help spouses to navigate issues such as property division during this type of family law proceeding.

First, it is absolutely critical that both spouses fully disclose each and every one of their assets. If they fail to do this, the divorce court may end up throwing out their divorce decree due to financial deception. As a result, the two spouses will have to return to court, perhaps years after they thought everything had been finalized.

Have you considered the possibility of power of attorney abuse?

As you consider your estate plan, you may give a great deal of focus to your will and how you want your property distributed after your demise. While this document certainly has importance, you may want to remember that your estate plan can cover other important areas of your life, and by taking the time to closely consider those areas, you may have the chance to lessen the possibility of unnecessary complications.

One document that you may want to think about using is a power of attorney. This document allows you to appoint an individual to act on your behalf in the event that you cannot make financial decisions for yourself. This type of scenario could come about in the event that your mental state reaches a point of significant decline, leading to incompetency, or in the event that you become otherwise incapacitated.

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