Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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How to avoid unmanageable debt post-bankruptcy

Once a personal bankruptcy proceeding is complete, many in California experience a wave of relief. Many types of unsecured debt are eliminated through the discharge portion of bankruptcy, which gives individuals and families a degree of budgetary breathing room that was greatly needed. Once the dust has settled, however, it is important to implement solid financial strategies in order to avoid a new accumulation of unmanageable debt.

One way to keep debt levels down post-bankruptcy is to make an honest assessment of household spending, and look for areas in which reductions can be made. Most American households contain far more items than the occupants need or can make use of. By taking inventory of what one has, it is easier to avoid going into new debt to acquire items that are not actually needed. This requires the ability to distinguish between wants and needs, which is a skill that virtually everyone can sharpen.

Another solid financial move is to take steps to establish a strong emergency fund. Setting aside enough cash to cover several months of expenses provides an excellent cushion against the unexpected. While many feel that they do not have the ability to aggressively save, it is almost always possible to set aside something every pay period. Many people fund their emergency savings by identifying expenses that can be foregone for a period of time, such as eating out or cable television, and putting those funds away for emergency use only.

The actions that individuals and families take in the months and years following a successful bankruptcy are crucial to establishing a strong financial foundation. By implementing the tips given here, it is possible to begin moving in the right direction and to avoid the accumulation of unmanageable debt. Bankruptcy offers the chance for a fresh financial start, and savvy California consumers will take advantage of that chance to build stability and security.

Source:, "Financial Guru Dave Ramsey offers tips to help get out of debt in 2015", John Matarese, Feb. 4, 2015

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Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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