Sometimes a person in economic distress can head off bankruptcy by picking up on bankruptcy warning signs, some of which we list below.
By changing spending habits, you may be able to pursue a non-bankruptcy option with the help of sound legal advice and practical wisdom from our experienced bankruptcy lawyers at Genova & Malin, Attorneys at Law.
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #1
Tax lien or foreclosure on your home, or repossession of a car or other item you failed to make timely payments on. These are signs that the wheels are coming off your financial situation. Take the bankruptcy warning signs seriously.
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #2
Maxing out on your credit cards or charging more than you can pay off each month. Credit card debt is one of the major factors in lots of bankruptcies. It’s not a good idea to use more than 40% of your available credit at any one time. This gives you flexibility in case of job loss, illness, divorce, or other threat to your income.
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #3
Paying the minimum balance on your credit cards. Since it can take 20 to 30 years to pay off your credit card balance when you pay only the minimum payment, if that’s all you can afford to pay, you really can’t afford to buy whatever it is you’ve been buying. Have you checked the interest rate on your credit card balance?
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #4
Over-using home equity loans. Give careful thought to any inclination you might have to use your home equity loan or line of credit for items other than home improvements. Make sure you can afford the payments without strain.
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #5
No emergency fund. If you live from paycheck to paycheck with little or no savings for emergencies, you’re at risk for bankruptcy. Are you one of the nearly 1 in 2 Americans who do not have at least $1000 in savings?
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #6
Co-signing a loan for someone else. Co-signing loans can lead to trouble. The fact that a person needs a co-signer may indicate he or she is a credit risk. You could end up being stuck. Ill-advised co-signing is a common factor in many bankruptcies.
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #7
No health insurance or inadequate coverage. An illness can strike without warning. Injurious accidents are usually not planned. Yes, things can easily go wrong in a hurry. Medical bills are a factor in one out of five bankruptcies!
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #8
Borrowing too much on student loans. You may end up finding your student loan payments so high you can’t afford your living expenses. Rather than going for the doctorate, it might be a good idea to take a class in simple arithmetic first.
Bankruptcy Warning Sign #9
Harassing phone calls from creditors. Hello! Is anybody home?