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New Jersey bankruptcy: What to look for when seeking debt relief

Many people around the country, including in New Jersey, are having a difficult time paying their bills and are often living from paycheck to paycheck. For many, the situation has reached the point where they are looking for help. Debt relief options, including bankruptcy and other strategies, programs each have pros and cons depending on each individual situation. Those facing these options may benefit by considering every aspect of a debt relief option before committing to one.

Many consumers turn first to companies that offer debt relief programs. Finding a company that puts each family's best interests first may be hard to find. Most of these types of companies are staffed by commission based workers who get paid for signing up people. They are not necessarily looking out for what would be best for a particular individual or family.

A reputable company will encourage a family to look at all of its options. Some will even go so far as to tell you to check out several companies and talk to a bankruptcy attorney before committing to any program. A debt relief program may be a good option for some, but it could spell disaster for others. Any company that uses a hard sell approach may not be the best option.

Also, any company that does not at least mention the possibility of bankruptcy may not have a family's best interests at heart. A family or individual in financial distress may want to take the time to talk to as many people as possible before making a decision on a course of action. The best decision is a well informed decision. In addition to speaking with debt relief organizations, investigating bankruptcy as a responsible solution to one's financial problems may also make sense.

Many people feel they need to avoid bankruptcy, but the reality is that it may be the best option for some individuals and families. Bankruptcy can lay the groundwork for a fresh start to move forward. Under the federal Bankruptcy Code and the laws of New Jersey, filing for bankruptcy protection can stop creditor collection efforts, put a foreclosure on hold, and allow a family some much needed breathing room to sort out their financial issues.

Source: Huff Post, "How to Get Debt Help Without Getting Screwed," Steve Rhode, Oct. 16, 2012

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