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  • Edward G. Topolski

Is bankruptcy right for you?

Updated: Aug 11

This week a couple came in to consult with me about whether or not filing bankruptcy was a good option for them. Over the past several years the couple's bills had gotten out of control and they owed about $20,000,00 in credit cards and medical bills that they were struggling to pay. So when they saw the television commercial telling them that “they have the right to reduce their debt by 50%" and signing up for a Debt Relief Program will solve their problems naturally they thought why not give it a try? The Debt Relief Program promised to negotiate with their creditors, obtain discounts and get interest charges waived and told the couple by paying $400.00 per month to the Debt Relief Program for 48 months that would pay off the $20,000.00 in debts. After paying $400.00 per month to the Debt Relief Program for almost 2 years, one of the creditors sued the couple. The Debt Relief Program told the couple they were unable to reach an agreement with that creditor and they should retain an attorney to represent them in the lawsuit. The Couple then reviewed the monthly statements provided by the Debt Relief Program and realized that after paying the fees which were 25% of the discounts they were able to negotiate, it was impossible to pay off the $20,000.00 of debt in 4 years. Unfortunately after nearly 2 years of making payments to the Debt Relief Program the couple's finances were still a mess and their credit score was poor. Now hindsight being 20/20 this couple would have been better off filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition 2 years ago. The Bankruptcy discharge would have eliminated the $20,000.00 in debts. The entire process would have taken about 3 to 4 months from start to finish, and the cost for attorney fees ands filing fees would have been less than they paid to the Debt Relief Program in the first 4 months. The couple could have saved $400.00 per month they paid the Debt Relief Program and would have about $8,000.00 towards a down payment on a home ($400.00 per month x 20 months wasted in Debt Relief Program). Bankruptcy is not the best option for everyone. The bottom line is when you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling each month to pay all of your bills that is the time to look at all of your options. The one thing you know for certain is that time will pass us buy and the problem paying all of the bills will not fix itself, Bottom line is that as an attorney I work for my client.


I am my client's employee. The goal is to get my client through the legal system as efficiently as possible, get the best result, and keep the cost 

low. 



If you have any questions of need some help with a legal matter please call me at (951)765-0331 for a free consultation. I may not tell you everything you want to hear, but I will tell you what you need to hear.. 


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