Have You Accumulated Debts That You Can’t Pay?

If you are facing overwhelming debts, you certainly are not alone. However, it may be time to discuss your debt problem – and your options for resolving that problem – with a North Carolina debt defense attorney.

The average debt owed by a household in the United States – including mortgages, student loans, credit cards, auto loans, and medical debts – exceeds $100,000. Mortgages constitute most of that debt, but North Carolina households also average more than $7,000 in credit card debt alone.

If you’ve extensively used a credit card or you’ve borrowed a large sum, the consequences may be serious if you can’t pay the debt. Harassment by a collection agency is only the start. Many in North Carolina have their vehicles repossessed, their homes foreclosed, or their wages garnished.

Is filing for bankruptcy the right way to deal with your debt problem? More than 7,000 personal bankruptcy cases were filed in North Carolina in 2023, but if your debts are overwhelming you, bankruptcy may or may not be your best or only option.

Eventually, your debt problems can be resolved, but it can’t happen until you decide to take action. If you are having trouble paying your debts, you need the services and advice of a North Carolina debt defense lawyer, and you need to contact that lawyer as quickly as possible.

What Are Your Debt Resolution Options?

A North Carolina debt defense attorney will be familiar with a number of debt resolution options and strategies, and a debt defense attorney knows how to persuade creditors to work with you. One of the options for resolving your debts is called “debt restructuring.”

For most consumers, debt restructuring involves asking your creditors to extend the due dates for your payments, reduce your interest rates, or both.

Debt restructuring usually benefits both parties. It allows your creditors to receive more than they would receive if you were to file for bankruptcy, and debt restructuring also lets you avoid bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is also an option for some individuals. Bankruptcy allows you to immediately end creditor harassment by discharging your debts. You will get a clean slate that allows you to move forward in life without your debt weighing on your shoulders. Our debt defense attorneys can speak with you about your options under your specific circumstances.

When Should You Seek Debt Relief?

It’s hard to know when to reach out to a legal professional about your debt. Some people believe they can continue paying their debts forever, dodging creditors and collectors until the end of time. Unfortunately, this is not a good strategy.

If any of the following is true, it’s time to reach out to our team of debt defense attorneys:

  • The total of your debt is half or more of your gross income.
  • You have no hope of repaying unsecured debt within 5 years, even if you go on an extreme budget.
  • If you are taking cash advances to pay pay debts
  • If you are transferring credit card balances from one credit card to another.
  • If you’re only paying the minimum payment on credit cards and the balances are not being reduced significantly.
  • If you’re having to pay for necessities on credit cards thus incurring more debt every month.

Our team can talk to you about your debt relief options and how to pay back or get rid of your debt. We will evaluate your financial status by examining your secured and unsecured debt to determine the best path forward for you. For more information, contact our law office today.

Should You Avoid Debt Settlement Companies?

Most debt settlement companies charge a costly fee upfront or have monthly fees that are not always explained. Creditors know that debt settlement companies lack any authority to take legal action or to stop a creditor from taking legal action against you. Do not put your future in the hands of a company that can’t stop your creditors from collecting from you and harassing you.

A debt defense attorney can help you decide on the best option for resolving your debts. Your debt attorney can discuss the advantages and drawbacks of each option and help you decide on the debt resolution alternative that best addresses your personal and financial needs.

What About the Bankruptcy Option?

While bankruptcy may seem like an extreme option, it can be life-changing for some people. Bankruptcy immediately stops debt collection efforts, eliminates unsecured debt, and lets you reorganize your finances and pay off your remaining debts including secured debt such as cars and houses.

Bankruptcy is not for everyone who is struggling to pay debts. It is an option to consider and in some cases it may be the last option. For most consumers in North Carolina, bankruptcy reduces a credit score of 700 or above by at least 150-200 points. A credit score in the 680 range may be reduced 100-150 points. However, in some situations bankruptcy can actually allow someone to rebuild their credit faster than they might otherwise be able to do. There are steps that can be taken during a bankruptcy and after a bankruptcy discharge that allows someone to rebuild their credit over 12 to 24 months.

Bankruptcy offers strong, immediate protection from creditor lawsuits, foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment, and harassment by collection agencies, but you must be assisted through the bankruptcy process by a North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer. Your lawyer will ensure that your legal paperwork is complete and accurate when you file it with the bankruptcy court.

Gillespie & Murphy Will Help You Deal With Your Debts

Gillespie & Murphy is a team of award-winning debt defense and bankruptcy lawyers who work for both families and individuals. Since 1991, we’ve used our legal knowledge and skills to help clients throughout Eastern North Carolina get out of debt, and we’re ready to work for you.

If you are sued for a debt, contact Gillespie & Murphy as quickly as possible by calling 252-659-5045. We will explain your consumer rights, review your options for resolving your debts, and if necessary, help you file for bankruptcy and comply with the bankruptcy requirements.

With more than thirty years of experience, we know how to resolve the most difficult debt situations. To learn more about negotiating with creditors and resolving your debts – or to get started today – call Gillespie & Murphy now at 252-659-5045