Many households have lost 50% of their household income as a result the Coronavirus. Panic is taking over. We all need to take a D-E-E-P breath. (This is something I say a lot.) Our HEALTH and the health of our family is most important.
People most often file for bankruptcy in Hackensack, Teaneck, and Dumont New Jersey due to loss of income, underemployment, illness, divorce, or a death in the family. These things are beyond your control. It is not your fault and you must give yourself a break. With the Coronavirus halting just about everything in our lives and making so many people seriously ill, I fully expect that bankruptcies filings will sky rocket later this year.
1.) Prioritize the bills you pay. Many times people are so focused on the paying something to everyone that it cause them to thereby fall behind on everything. I almost always recommend paying your mortgage or rent first and then making any car payments. Food, health insurance, medicine and utilities are of course high priority. Credit cards and unsecured loans are last on the list.
2.) Cut all non-essential expenses. Being a little uncomfortable now will make you less anxious later on when you begin digging out. Stop unnecessary reoccurring payments. Pause or cancel gym memberships. Cancel movie/program subscriptions you don’t use.
3.) Try to reduce your electric bill by turning on lights and computers when not in use.
4.) Do not order out if you can help it. Not only is it safer to eat at home with the looming threat of the Coronavirus but it is cheaper. Not working allows you the “luxury” to cook at home. The way I look at it is if there is no money coming in then very little should be going out.
5.) Try not to rob Peter to pay Paul. This always turns into a house of cards. Taking out personal unsecured loans to pay down credit cards is not advised. That pattern is circular in fashion. Very often I am retained by clients who took tens of thousands of dollars in countless separate unsecured personal loans before they realize they are on the hamster wheel running and going nowhere fast. It is human instinctive to want to pay your bills and pay on time. However, being realistic will help you in the long run. Try to look at your personal finances as a business and determine what the business should do. What would you recommend a friend do if they were in your situation? With the help of a Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney you can come up with a plan. Bankruptcy attorneys do not always advise that consumers file for bankruptcy. Each case is fact specific.
6.) Please do not go to the so called “debt consolidation companies” which are usually owned by the credit card companies. Many of my clients spend thousands on debt consolidation plans that were never realistic from the start. Learn from their mistakes. Speak to a Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney today so they can advise you more specifically on what bills to pay, when, and how much to pay you if your income is not sufficient to cover your expenses. Bankruptcy gives consumers the chance to get a fresh start. You and your family deserve a fresh start!