by Atty Piermario Bertolotto, Rizzo & Diersen, SC
Many events can force you into bankruptcy. These can include unemployment, layoffs or creditors being more aggressive in collection efforts.
Since these events are often common, many people immediately consider bankruptcy because they’ve been told that bankruptcy is their only option. Or perhaps their bank has commenced a foreclosure action to force a sale of their home. Faced with that, many homeowners think they have no other option but to file a bankruptcy and “let their house go.”
Actually, that conclusion could well be wrong. Bankruptcy doesn’t have to be your only choice. In fact, in Wisconsin, it’s rare that a foreclosure of a primary residence is the sole driving force for a bankruptcy. There are many defenses, programs and options available to you. Often, you can reinstate or modify the mortgage.
Bankruptcy might be the only alternative. But usually it should be the last option after all others are exhausted. It should be used only when there are many other negative financial factors besides a foreclosure lawsuit.
Many attorneys who provide bankruptcy services will offer a free initial consultation. Such consultations should be specifically designed to determine if filing bankruptcy is the right thing to do. The decision should be solely based on the financial issues that you face.
If you are thinking about bankruptcy, the first thing to do is gather all of your financial information. Then strongly consider talking to a bankruptcy professional. You not only want to get advice, but also discuss – in detail – all of your alternatives.
A professional opinion will give you needed information about the bankruptcy process, all the alternatives, and all of the associated costs.