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Divorce or bankruptcy: Which comes first?

You probably already know that getting a divorce could significantly impact your finances. If you and your spouse already struggle to make ends meet, you may consider filing for bankruptcy. The problem of knowing when to file bankruptcy and when to file for divorce may plague you.

The only conclusive answer is not to file both at the same time. Thereafter, the choice depends on several factors. In many cases, it could depend on whether you and your spouse qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Economic means matter when determining bankruptcy eligibility

Have you ever heard of the means test? It is a form used in Louisiana and elsewhere to determine Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility. Before you can file for this type of debt relief, you have to take this test in order to show that you truly lack the means to meet your debt obligations.

Some common questions about the bankruptcy means test include:

A regular income does not mean you cannot benefit from bankruptcy

Many people associate bankruptcy with low-income levels and other similar financial struggles. In reality, the need for bankruptcy may have very little to do with a person’s income and more to do with the type and amount of debt that he or she has. Even people with substantial incomes may find it difficult to keep up with payments and effectively manage their debt.

Contrary to what some people think they know about bankruptcy, you can actually file for bankruptcy if you earn a regular income. Chapter 13 offers protection for Louisiana individuals who need to effectively deal with unmanageable debt and claim a stronger financial future free from creditor harassment.

Think you do not really need a will? Think again.

Having a will is an essential step for everyone, regardless of the size of the estate or income level. Having a solid estate plan in place is about more than ensuring you have control over what happens to your stuff after your death, it is about providing security and peace of mind to your loved ones. If you do not have a will, you would be wise to take the necessary steps to get a plan into place.

Chapter 7 is not always the only bankruptcy option

Many people in Louisiana and across the U.S. are struggling to keep their heads above water financially. In such circumstances, there's often need for immediate debt relief to avoid complete financial disaster.

When people think of debt relief, they often also automatically think of Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it seems to be the term related to the topic with which many people are familiar.

Are Social Security benefits safe from creditors?

Many people rely on federal benefits. Whether you're retired, disabled or a military veteran, these benefits play a big part in your financial picture. Unfortunately, they may not be enough. If you've gotten into debt because of unexpected expenses, you might be worried that debt collectors will be able to take your benefits away as a form of payment.

Can they do that? The answer to this question is no...and yes. Let's take a look at how it works and how you can protect yourself. 

Is medical debt dischargeable through bankruptcy?

An illness or injury can have a drastic impact on your life - physically, emotionally, and financially.

It is common for individuals dealing with a serious illness or injury to struggle with medical bills. The cost of surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, medication, and other expenses can be overwhelming - even with good health insurance.

3 Myths about bankruptcy

Are you struggling with debt and considering filing bankruptcy? Don't let myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy dictate whether or not you get help.

Rather, learn all you can about bankruptcy and your specific options. Here are three common myths about bankruptcy, dispelled:

Don't wait until it's too late to learn about your bankruptcy options

Hard working people do everything they can to plan for a rainy day. When that day arrives, however, the money tucked away may not cover the rising living expenses for very long.

Cutting corners and going without non-essentials can only carry you so far. There may come a point when the money coming in simply won't allow you to pay the bills and maintain a reasonable standard of living. If this happens to you, you are not alone.

Are you drowning in medical debt?

There are many reasons why families are turning to personal bankruptcy for debt relief. While some situations are avoidable, others are completely out of our control.

No matter your age or income, an unexpected accident or illness can turn your life upside down in an instant. If you are self-insured or have health insurance through your employer, this can leave you with mounting medical bills. Unfortunately, this situation is far too common, leaving individuals and families barely treading water in a sea of bills.


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