Knowledge Of Bankruptcy Issues and Options Can Prevent Major Problems Later
A potential client canceled her appointment with me today.
That’s nothing new; happens all the time. I’m just happy she actually told me.
But what floored me was her reason for canceling:
She didn’t know if bankruptcy was the path she wanted to go, and therefore did not want to have a consultation to learn about her options until she was fully committed to doing so.
This sure seemed like twisted logic to me. Especially since she sought me out and scheduled the appointment.
But then I realized this is likely why many do not seek bankruptcy advice when they should.
What exactly is their fear?
Do they think by having a consultation they will be dragged by me (after emptying their pockets, of course) down to the bankruptcy court and thrown in jail?
Information Provides Knowledge, Which Provides Strength
You cannot make an informed decision without information.
Obtaining knowledge does not obligate you to take a particular path or another. It does, however, give you the ability to understand your options and make informed decisions.
Even if that decision is to do nothing right now.
This is true in every aspect of life, and it is true with respect to your finances.
Avoiding information because you may not be ready to act on it, or don’t want to hear about it, is silly and not productive.
There’s No Downside To Learning About Your Bankruptcy Options
Learning about the costs, benefits and risks of filing a bankruptcy case versus not filing one, has no downside.
Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free initial consultations. But even if they charge a bit, the knowledge gained is totally worth it.
I frequently advise potential clients in consultations that they do not need to file bankruptcy now, and give them suggestions on things they can do to improve their situation.
Problems do not arise from learning your options too early. But they sure can if you wait too long.
A Medical Comparison Example
This is not much different than waiting too long to see a doctor about something.
You have a slight pain in your side that hasn’t gone away, or perhaps a discoloration on your skin.
A visit to the doctor might determine that it’s nothing to be worried about.
Or it might show you have Cancer.
If it’s nothing serious, then you’ve lost nothing by seeing the doctor–plus you’ve eased your mind a bit.
If it is potentially serious, you have just maximized your chances for recovery by spotting it early.
If you don’t see your doctor now, by the time you do, your treatment options may be greatly reduced, or eliminated.
Bankruptcy, of course, is not as serious as Cancer, but the concept is the same.
If you have a consultation and even if bankruptcy is the recommended solution, nobody is going to force you to file bankruptcy if you don’t want to.
(Well technically, albeit rarely, if enough of your creditors get together, they can force a bankruptcy upon you—called an “involuntary bankruptcy”. However, this could happen whether you had a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney or not. Of course, if you had learned about your options, you probably could have dealt with things before it got to that point.
What Can Happen If You Wait Too Long To Learn Your Bankruptcy Options
Like with the medical example above, the longer you wait to get counseling on bankruptcy, the less options you will have to deal with your situation.
Clients who wait until the last minute to seek bankruptcy advice often find themselves throwing tens of thousands of dollars at a problem with very little chance of success, when they could have dealt with it for certain much less expensively if they had sought information even a couple of months earlier.
My article on how bankruptcy is like curing financial Cancer illustrates some of the consequences of waiting too long.
My article on Filing Emergency Bankruptcy Cases provides some additional examples.
Don’t Be Afraid To Learn Your Options
Never be afraid to get information on something.
You are free to use the information, ignore it, laugh at it, share it, or do whatever you want with it.
But you lose nothing, and gain to stand a lot from receiving it.
No obligation means no obligation.
If you have financial problems and think bankruptcy could possibly assist you, seek out an experienced bankruptcy attorney and learn your options now.
Jorge Gonzalez is responsible for the image in this post