When you’re in debt and behind on your payments, it can seem like there’s no way out. For many people, filing bankruptcy winds up being the best decision for their financial futures. However, there are several other steps you should take before you make the decision to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Here are three actions recommended by the attorneys in Vidalia, GA at the Law Office of Tipton-Downie.

  1. Try to work out a payment plan with your creditors. It can be humbling to talk to the people or companies you owe money to. But taking the initiative to have the conversation can make a big difference. You may be surprised by how willing some creditors are to work with you. Make a list of your debts and start making calls.
  2. Consider debt consolidation. Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or second mortgages are often promoted as a way to consolidate debts. While this may work for some homeowners, it’s important to be aware of the risk. A HELOC or second mortgage will use your home as collateral. If you don’t make the payments on these loans, you could lose your house.
  3. Get credit counseling. Nonprofit credit counseling organizations offer services at low or no cost. Your bank or credit union may also be able to help you come up with a plan for paying off your debts. Be wary of any company that makes big promises in exchange for big fees.

Sarah M. Tipton-Downie is a Vidalia, GA bankruptcy attorney who cares for her clients. If you’re considering bankruptcy, she’ll talk through your situation with you and make a recommendation on what’s best for you. At the Law Office of Tipton-Downie, the goal isn’t to have as many clients as possible; it’s to help you make the right decisions for your financial future.