Have you ever noticed that your financial status changes along with the ever-changing events of your daily life? While the mainstream of your finances may stay the same, such as earning the same income at the same job for many years, circumstances surrounding your day-to-day situation may change, thus causing economic changes, which you may or may not be prepared to handle.

If you’re one of many New Jersey residents who are currently struggling due to medical expenses or credit card debt that arose because you needed car repairs or faced some other unforeseen cost that you lacked the funds to cover, you may be trying to determine a best course of action for paying down your current debt and getting your overall financial plan back on track.

When to consider bankruptcy as a financial crisis solution  

There’s still a lot of social stigma attached to the idea of filing for bankruptcy; however, if you were to survey those who have gone this route to obtain immediate debt relief, you would likely find many people who say that Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy allowed them to wipe the slate clean and start afresh, thus eliminating debt and laying the groundwork for a better financial future. The following list includes issues that warrant considering this financial tool as an option:

  • Debt collectors are hounding you with phone calls. If so, it is important to know your rights and how to protect them.
  • A lender is threatening foreclosure, and you’re afraid you will lose your home.
  • You’re having to borrow against your pay-check or use credit to pay your bills.
  • You’re tapping into retirement savings to pay down debt. Accessing 401k or other savings plans early often incurs substantial penalties, which can make matters worse instead of better, in the long-run.

Any of these issues would be a legitimate cause to learn more about bankruptcy and whether or not it would serve your best interests to file. If you know that additional expenses — such as medical bills — are about to hit you beyond your control, it may be best to wait before filing, in order to include those expenses in your debt relief plan.

Should you go it alone in bankruptcy court?

Petitioning the court for bankruptcy pro se means that you would act on your own behalf rather than alongside experienced legal representation. You’re definitely allowed to do so; however, you would not be able to seek guidance during proceedings, and if you are not well versed in New Jersey bankruptcy laws, trying to present your own case may be quite stressful, which is why most people ask experienced attorneys to act on their behalves in court.