When should I file for bankruptcy?

In the simplest terms, the sooner the better. The stress of debt can interfere with your marriage and home life, your career, your business, and even your health. Since a Chapter 7 can be over in a matter of a few months, it is worth it to seek legal advice and your FREE CONSULTATION at Seelinger Law sooner rather than later. And if you are already seriously considering filing, it will save you money immediately. You are probably still attempting to make some payments, even if they are late, or not full payments. If you kept this up for a year before filing bankruptcy, you are throwing your money away on debts that could have been discharged already.

If you are currently dealing with any of these: the stress of medical bills, loss of overtime hours, trying to save a failing business, using credit cards to make your monthly expense payments, borrowing from your retirement or home equity in order to pay bills, borrowing from one credit card to pay another, the threats of foreclosure or repossession, getting “payday loans” and not or if you have late house, car, and utility payments, now is time to seek professional advice and file for bankruptcy and free your mind of the hardship that you are currently facing.

Many people consider trying to get themselves out of this hole by borrowing money from a parent, sibling, or a friend. There are some things that you should consider before borrowing this money. First, some people are very charitable, even if it is to their own detriment. They may help you out even if they really can’t afford to do so. Second, there is a mixed bag of emotions that go with owing money to people with whom you are close. Are you willing to deal with the consequences of owing them money? Third, and probably most important, is that if a loan from a friend or family member is simply putting off the inevitable bankruptcy filing, you are borrowing money and possibly putting a hardship on them that could have been avoided by simply filing sooner.

DO NOT take money out of your retirement plan to pay your credit card bills. This money will be protected in your bankruptcy and you need this money for your future.

You are an individual with unique challenges; do not let anyone tell you how to live your life. You never anticipated that you would be in this unfortunate situation. You need to take care of yourself, your spouse, your children, your elderly parents, and your medical issue. Those things are all more important than some outsider’s critique.

It is a myth that bankruptcy is a bad idea. I have never had someone tell me afterward that they wish they did not file, in fact, every one of my clients tell me that they feel relieved and their only regret is that they did not file sooner!

Do I have to have a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcies are filed in the federal court system which means that they are filed electronically. Your lawyer will have gone through hours of training on the specificities of the filing system and will be certified in this technology. Each certified bankruptcy attorney will have an account to pay court fees directly and a password to allow them to navigate through the federal court system. Although it is possible to file outside of the digital world, the Clerk’s Office will not be able to give you any advice so most people are not able to put the fifty (50) plus page petition together correctly. Ultimately if your case is dismissed for lack of filings, it is best to contact Seelinger Law immediately so that we can ensure that your case may be filed again before it is too late or before it is dismissed with prejudice which means that the Judge will not allow you to file again. It is not impossible to file without an attorney but it is exceptionally difficult to successfully file without representation. It is strongly recommended that you have an attorney for a bankruptcy filing. Seelinger Law offers affordable payment plans.


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Erie, PA 16509


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Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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