Three Tips to Keep in Mind When Considering Filing for Bankruptcy Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has hardly hit people in West Virginia and throughout the country. Since April of last year, millions of people filed unemployment claims. As the coronavirus is still in full effect in communities and businesses starting to reopen or still closed, a lot of Americans are expected to file bankruptcy claims. If this global crisis has left you experiencing serious financial difficulties and you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you must seek advice from a reputable bankruptcy lawyer in Charleston, West Virginia. Your attorney will guide you through the filing process and help you understand your options. Here are tips to help you get started:

Explore your Options

If you have mounting debts you can no longer manage to pay back, you have some options. You can continue to make your minimum payments, negotiate a settlement with the debt collectors, or file for bankruptcy. Usually, it is logical to explore your options first before considering filing for bankruptcy. 

Ask About Assistance Programs from Your Lender

Because of the current pandemic, a lot of regulators, lawmakers, and financial institutions are rolling out several assistance programs you can take advantage of. In fact, some major lenders have developed hardship programs to allow their borrowers to defer some payments, including credit card debt, student loan debt, and car loans. If the pandemic has left you in financial turmoil, contact your lender and ask about any assistance programs they are likely offering. 

Understand your Filing Options

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the most common kinds of bankruptcy filed. If you choose a Chapter 7 filing, you will need to sell some of your assets to pay off your debt. Your outstanding debt will be wiped clean when the bankruptcy is approved. Meanwhile, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a repayment plan will be made to let you pay off all of your debt within three to five years. This type of bankruptcy is a typical option for people who are behind on their mortgage payments and are in fear of foreclosures. With this option, these people won’t lose their homes in the process. 

No matter which bankruptcy you want to file for, you need to appear in court to get the various aspects of your case approved by a judge. While the majority of federal courts shuttered during the start of the pandemic, a lot are open now. But, as courthouses are still close to the public, a lot of court hearings are being held online.

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