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How do I know if I need a bankruptcy attorney?

Sometimes the closer you are to a problem, the harder it is to solve. This is especially true when emotions are involved, because they tend to cloud our logic and prevent us from making rational decisions.

The debt that many of us carry around is a perfect example. Once it starts spiraling out of control, intense feelings of guilt, fear and even failure can quickly take hold. Even if you've considered seeking professional help with your money problems, you might agonize over whether it's the right choice.

The good news is that bankruptcy attorneys deal with these problems every day, and those who offer free consultations provide a low-risk helping hand. Here are some signs that it's time to make that call.

You're getting harassing phone calls: Many of us have seen the dreaded "past due" stamp on a bill, but repeated calls from creditors are usually an indication that your debt is out of control and getting worse. Filing for bankruptcy can put an immediate stop to those calls -- provided you're serious about following through.

Your wages are being garnished: This is another action that can be stopped by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and often this money can be recovered once the bankruptcy process is complete. If you think you're at risk of having your take-home pay reduced by your creditors, it's wise not to sit around and wait for it to happen.

You're at risk of losing your assets: Overdue Visa bills will tarnish your credit, but an unpaid mortgage has much more dire consequences. If you're in danger of foreclosure or repossession of your car because you can't make payments, it's time to consult a professional.

Your debt is eligible for discharge: Not all debt can be erased through bankruptcy. Expenses such as child support, student loans and taxes are ineligible, but many other expenses are, including credit card debt, hospital bills and payday loans. Any bankruptcy attorney worth his or her shingle should be willing and able to determine whether your financial situation warrants filing for Chapter 7 or 13 -- or if you would be better off managing your debt in another way.

One of the worst things you can do when you're facing insurmountable debt is nothing at all. If you're feeling paralyzed by stress over unpaid bills, a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney who knows what you're going through may be just what you need.

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Paul Urich
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Law Office of Paul L. Urich, P.A.
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