Attorney Mary PoolAfter counseling clients during the initial free consultation, I am sometimes asked by people considering bankruptcy, what I would do if I were in their shoes.  Bankruptcy is a personal choice and only those individuals can really understand what financial challenges they are facing (i.e., harassing calls, the inability to pay all monthly bills, etc.).  Some people can handle collection calls better than others.  Some people experience extreme anxiety when contemplating how to make their mortgage payment and lose sleep over the fact that they are struggling to provide for their families.  If you are contemplating bankruptcy, only you can know whether bankruptcy will work for you.

I always encourage people sitting in front of me to pray about whether bankruptcy is the right choice to resolve their financial burdens, if they are on the fence on whether or not to file.  I cannot make the decision for them but can only guide them to what option of bankruptcy might be better suited to solve their financial struggles.  You should never feel like you are being pressured in choosing one chapter over the other when being counseled by a bankruptcy attorney.  You should always consider both chapter 13 and chapter 7 and understand the benefits and consequences of each one before filing bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the Best Option For You If…

  • you are behind on your mortgage and/or car payment and want to keep one or both
  • you want to reduce your monthly debt payments.
  • you want to protect assets that are not protected
  • you are responsible to make debt payments pursuant to a divorce decree
  • you have a second mortgage that is wholly unsecured due to your first mortgage balance exceeding the value of your home.
  • you do not pass the Means test to file chapter 7

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the Best Option If…

  • you have lost a job or income and all the property you have is protected.
  • you want to have you debts wiped away quickly.
  • you want to rebuild credit faster.

You may not need to file bankruptcy if you are judgment proof (i.e., only receive social security or VA benefits and do not own any unprotected assets).

At Bond and Botes, our attorneys are here to provide you with what option might be best for your situation.  You will never feel pressured to file or directed to a particular chapter of bankruptcy unless it is truly the best choice for you.  We take pride in being attorneys who provide financial solutions, not just bankruptcy options.  At Bond and Botes, our hope is that you choose the right option for you and your family so that you receive relief from what initially brought you to our office.  Remember, the initial consultation is always free at Bond and Botes so give your local Bond and Botes office a call today.


Mary Pool
Written by Mary Pool

Mary Pool is a shareholder of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law. She has represented thousands of clients over her more than 11 years working in the bankruptcy field. Read her full bio here.

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