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We may be hearing more about bankruptcy these days since the economy is improving. The unemployment rate is down, and lower gas prices are really helping. But some people are still struggling. Thousands of people in Florida are still buried under substantial debt. Bankruptcy isn’t for everyone who struggles with mounting debts, and in fact, bankruptcy is rarely your only or best solution. What’s right for you will hinge on your current and projected future income, the precise nature of your debts, and the properties and assets you already own. Before you take any legal action, consult first with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

If you are eligible for a debt consolidation loan, you may want to consider it as an alternative to filing for bankruptcy. You probably already know how debt consolidation works. Instead of paying a variety of creditors, you make one monthly payment to the debt consolidation lender, who in turn takes your payment and satisfies your creditors. Frankly, debt consolidation is rarely a good choice. Most debt consolidation lenders charge a fifteen percent up-front fee, and debt consolidation companies lack any legal authority to stop creditors from acting against you. You may still be harassed by collection agents, and you can still be sued by creditors. If you do opt for debt consolidation, do some investigating and make certain that you deal only with a reputable, legitimate lender.

A second mortgage is another option, but it’s not necessarily a good one, because if you fail to make the payments, the lender can seize your home. The advantage of a debt consolidation loan is that you escape the risks and complications of bankruptcy, and no bankruptcy will appear on your credit report. If you are sinking under mounting debts in the Tampa Bay area, discuss debt consolidation, bankruptcy, and your other options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Your situation cannot improve until you take action, so make the call as quickly as possible.

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site or call 727-335-7151.