Budgets and Money

Is a Bankruptcy an Easy Way To Handle Your Debt?

Bankruptcy might seem like a quick fix to a serious debt situation, but it can bring about serious consequences in the long run. Be sure you fully understand the relationship between debt and bankruptcy, and what your options are.

Should You Handle Your Debt with Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy

There are many factors that can affect your finances. From a job loss to a prolonged disability, unexpected events of all kinds can have a profound impact on your finances. For many people who find themselves mired in debt, the idea of filing for bankruptcy can feel like a welcome sigh of relief. While bankruptcy may be the answer in certain situations, it shouldn't be considered an easy way to handle your debt.

Bankruptcy isn't something that should be taken lightly. However, if your individual situation has come to the point where filing for bankruptcy is best, then be certain that you understand what your options are.

Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy: The two most common consumer filings

The two most common types of bankruptcy filed by individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The main difference between the two is that with a Chapter 7, most all of your debts are wiped out, whereas a Chapter 13 filing allows you to pay your creditors back on an arranged payment plan.

With Chapter 7, most of your debt will be discharged. Simply put, you will no longer be responsible for making payments to your creditors. However, there are certain financial obligations that are typically excluded under a Chapter 7 filing such as alimony, child support, and federally funded student loans, just to name a few. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney who can provide you with specific exclusions in your state.

With Chapter 13, you are placed on a mandatory repayment plan. Learning to budget on this type of repayment plan shouldn't be too difficult to manage because it's generally based on your income and how much you can afford to pay each month. In addition, you may be able to have some of your debts reduced, making it easier to pay down your debt.

The impact on your credit

Whether you file Chapter 7 or 13, a bankruptcy doesn't disappear once your creditors are paid. In fact, a bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, impacting everything from your ability to qualify for loans to how much you'll pay in interest rates. For these and many other reasons, a bankruptcy should only be considered as a last resort.

The decision to file for bankruptcy is a serious one. However, for some it can offer a clean financial start when there simply isn't another solution. If you must file bankruptcy, consider working with a financial advisor afterwards. A professional can help you learn to budget by working out a plan to better manage your finances, as well as suggest insurance products such as disability and credit life insurance to protect your assets and avoid similar situations in the future.

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Debt and Bankruptcy

Nobody said learning to budget was easy - especially when it comes to managing debt and the possibility of bankruptcy. If you find yourself faced with a financial crisis, bankruptcy may sometimes feel like the only viable option. However, filing for bankruptcy carries serious consequences and shouldn't be considered an easy way out of debt.

If you must declare bankruptcy, then it's critical to understand some important basics. This article looks at some options when faced with debt and bankruptcy so that you better understand your choices. For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center.


All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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