Filing for bankruptcy is the very last resort for people overburdened by debts and unable to clear them. The decision to file bankruptcy is a grave one and it is recommended not to make such a decision in haste. Many people choose this option without finding out the available alternatives to bankruptcy.
Some of the alternatives to bankruptcy are:
1. Settle your debts: If there is the smallest possibility that the debt you owe is manageable and will not be absolutely detrimental to your finances, it is advisable to make a full settlement or meet your creditors and discuss alternate payment arrangements. Another way to meet your debts is to borrow money to pay it off. But, even though this may even seem like a viable option at the time, it would be best to consider this option last, because if you are finding it difficult to pay off debts now, a new loan will only add to your problems.
2. Debt consolidation: A debt consolidation loan might be a good solution. How good it is, will depend on your situation. More often than not, debt consolidation loans are made using your home as collateral by placing a second mortgage on your house.
Again, there is a considerable amount of risk involved here. You must consider whether you will be able to pay your bills in a timely manner and be able to subsist on a monthly basis. If, and only if, this is possible, should you opt for a debt consolidation loan. It is also pertinent that you do your homework and choose a good loan consolidation company that provides loans at manageable interest rates.
3. Ignore your creditors: Although this is an option and a deferral tactic, it isn't the smartest decision to make. It does not matter how big or small your debt is, the creditor will not stop till he gets his money.
Often, in business, people ignore debts until they pile up to the point that it is very difficult for them to pay them off. If you ignore your creditors long enough, you may even end up with a lien on your home. So, it is best to try and solve the problem to begin with instead of ignoring it, which will only make matters worse.
4. Credit counseling: This is a much safer and a less mentally taxing option. Credit-counseling agencies can contact you creditors on a direct basis and can make new payment arrangements to suit your situation. They may also be able to get your interest rate lowered or have your interest payments ceased completely.
Credit counseling is often the best solution for avoiding bankruptcy, as many families have found out. It will also give you the chance to sort out your finances in peace as your creditors will stop hounding you for payments. Always do your research before selecting a credit-counseling agency. It is recommended by experts to go with a non-profit credit-counseling agency rather than a for profit credit-counseling agency.
Finally, if none of the above mentioned options are viable for you and you have used up all your resources, you may choose to file for bankruptcy as the only way out.
About the Author
Jon Arnold is an author and computer engineer who maintains various web sites to provide tips and information on a variety of topics. More info on this topic can be found at his Bankruptcy site at http://bankruptcy-data.com