Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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Common myths surrounding personal bankruptcy

Most consumers who are going through a time of financial stress are not fully informed about their options for moving beyond such a challenge. This is especially true when it comes to personal bankruptcy, and many people hold a range of false beliefs about the bankruptcy process. The following information is provided in the hopes of giving California consumers a better understanding of what bankruptcy is, and what it is not.

When considering filing for bankruptcy, many married people assume that their spouse must also take part in that process. This, however, is not the case. Many spouses keep their financial matters separate, and do not accumulate debts that are shared between them. In such cases, there is no need for one's spouse to file for bankruptcy, unless there are shared debts that both parties wish to have eliminated through the bankruptcy process.

Another common misconception is that an individual has to have a huge volume of debt in order to file for bankruptcy. In reality, bankruptcy is a tool that is available to anyone who is unable to manage their debt, regardless of how much is owed or the nature of those debts. This said, the cost and effort required to complete a bankruptcy procedure make it a solution that is best used in cases in which serious debt issues are present. The dollar amount of that debt is different for everyone, however.

These are just two examples of the many false beliefs that persist about personal bankruptcy. There are many others that can also hold a consumer back from considering this option as a viable means of debt relief. Bankruptcy is certainly not the solution for every situation, but for many in California, it is a path out of financial strife and towards a brighter horizon.

Source: julesburgadvocate.com, "Take Charge America Dispels 7 Common Myths About Consumer Bankruptcy", Nov. 19, 2014

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