When the economies good many people decide it’s the perfect time to ditch that corporate job and strike out on their own, often opening a business. Unfortunately, when the economy declines and their business fails, those same business owners may be shocked to find that their personal assets are in jeopardy as they struggle to pay their business debt, eventually having to file for bankruptcy.
Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “I live in the State of Pennsylvania and I am considering filing for bankruptcy. I want to know if I can protect my house?”
Filing bankruptcy does not automatically mean that everything you own will be liquidated and sold to creditors. In fact, all states have exemptions which protect certain assets from repossession and liquidation.
Recently on our legal forum a business owner asked, “I am a sole proprietor, but I believe I am going to have to file bankruptcy. What are my bankruptcy options, and will my creditors be able to repossess my personal assets to repay my debt obligations?”
Aeropostale, Inc., a specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories targeted at teen consumers, has announced that they file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing 113 stores in the United States and another 41 stores in Canada. The goal of the teen targeted store is to “achieve financial long-term stability.” Aeropostale, like so many other teen focused stores, has hit on hard times. Even teen favorites like American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch report their earnings are also down.
Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “I have a car that I would like to give to a relative. I am also planning on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I was wondering what I need to consider prior to the property transfer.”
Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “I have come to the conclusion that after a massive surgery and losing my job that I will not be able to pull myself out of my financial crisis without filing for bankruptcy protection. With this in mind, I am wondering what I need to do before filing bankruptcy?”
Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I filed for bankruptcy last year and I just received my discharge. I really want to clean up my credit and try to increase my credit score. I know one option for paying my bills is automatic debit payments. I am wondering if this is a good idea?”
Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “My husband and I are considering buying a home foreclosure. We are wondering what steps we should take to ensure that we get a good deal.”
Although the number of home foreclosures was down last year to the lowest level since 2008 when home foreclosures spiked to a whopping 2.9 million homes, there were still over one million homes foreclosures last year. With all the foreclosures on the market it is possible for the savvy home investor to find some great deals, assuming they know what they are doing and they take the right steps to find a good property.
Almost one million Americans filed for bankruptcy protection last year. Unfortunately, many of them did so without fully understanding the legal ramifications, what bankruptcy could and could not do for them, and without first determining if bankruptcy was really their best option.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five things debtors should understand about bankruptcy.