How Great Is It That Your Debt Problems Have Solutions? And That In Most Bankruptcy Filings, The Only Thing You Lose Is Your Debt, Nothing More!
As a Broward County bankruptcy attorney, I help people who are struggling with too much debt. I read on the CreditCards.com website that if one has a $5,000 credit card balance and only pays the minimum payment every month, it will take 13 years - THIRTEEN YEARS - to pay it off. And this assumes there are no new charges during the 13 years. I also read that Florida ranks as one of the five highest states in the U.S. populace with credit card burden. It strikes me that obtaining a credit card is much like getting married; easy to do, but oh, so uneasy to undo.
Easy credit. Unsolicited offers. No interest for months, even years. But the pain is in the details. Miss a payment, penalties. Miss a payment date, interest jumps up to 21%, if it’s not there already. Credit limit lowered or cut off. Finally, card cancelled, but principal, interest, fees and penalties still due and at this point accruing more every day! How many people have called me just aghast and astonished at how their credit card bill ballooned astronomically, overnight.
In the course of a every person’s lifetime, events occur, some of which are not good and which are costly, sometimes very costly. Divorce. Sickness. A swindle or scam. No one is immune from financial woes. Not Donald Trump, not Walt Disney, not the City of Detroit, not Burt Reynolds. They all filed bankruptcy. And as a Ft. Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney, I’d bet good money each of them would say they were very happy, very relieved that there was a legal way to solve their serious money woes.
Recently I had a business meeting with a prominent politician and lobbyist on a government matter. He had been around a long time. I forget how but I learned he had recently filed personal bankruptcy. He had invested a huge sum of money in a venture that just went totally bad. When asked about it by a reporter, I always remember his simple, yet so truthful, complete answer: “When someone sues you for a million dollars and you cannot pay it, you file bankruptcy”.
In my practice, I regularly counsel people in deep financial difficulty who are struggling with their worried emotions of loss and despair. With my advice, they are able to take a pause and acknowledge those feelings. They are able to settle their minds and make decisions based on clear thinking rather than fear and anger. I get great satisfaction in meeting a potential client for a first consultation, sometimes with a lawsuit or wage garnishment in hand, explaining how the bankruptcy process works to extinguish the lawsuit or garnishment and other debt, and watching a frowning, troubled, concerned person or couple by the end of our consult literally be transformed into feeling easy and calm. They know I can take their financial burdens away in just four months and they will have a fresh start. Money in their pocket and a life again. A great weight off their shoulders.
I received a kind thank you note from a nice, older couple that had come in for a consultation a couple weeks ago. They had upwards of $30K in credit card debt but were retired and on a fixed income. The note said they were going to try and work out something with their creditors, but would see me again if it didn’t work out. I wrote them back and agreed you can always file the bankruptcy, but it is such a shame to file it six months or a year from now after you have struggled and scrimped to try and pay your creditors, only to throw in the towel and come back to me. That money could have been in their pocket! Now it is gone forever and with no benefit whatsoever to them. I pointed them to a couple blogs on my website about this and I hope they take it to heart.
No one, not anyone, wants to file bankruptcy. But sometimes you just have to do what is best for you and your family.
If you are struggling and overwhelmed with debt, I can help. I take your personal financial problems personally. Let’s talk.
Steve Glerum, Ft. Lauderdale Bankruptcy Attorney