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Colorado residents, wondering if you should file for bankruptcy?

A certified county-court mediator in another state reported on his experiences with defendants in court cases. Because lawsuits are on the rise and more and more consumers are being sued because of past due debts he is often asked by defendants if filing for personal bankruptcy is an option in their case. It's a valid question and really one only an experienced bankruptcy attorney should answer, he said. A Colorado bankruptcy attorney can fully inform you of your rights, eligibility requirements and the process involved so you can make an informed decision about dealing with your debt.

Regardless of whether or not you are being sued by a creditor, such as a credit card company, mortgage or auto lender, it is important to be informed of your rights. There are strict laws prohibiting creditors from harassing consumers and the sooner you address the problem the better off you will be. The two most common forms of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And of course there are pros and cons to each one, depending on your specific circumstances.

If you have significant equity in a home or other property, Chapter 13 may be the route to go. It requires a regular income in which you use to get caught up on your debt obligations through a court-approved debt consolidation repayment period, usually around three to five years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is more geared towards people with little to no property other than essentials and who are unable to meet their debt obligations and meet basic expenses at the same time.

Once a bankruptcy petition is filed all creditors must stop collection efforts, including court proceedings. Creditors cannot garnish wages, repossess your car or proceed with a foreclosure. There are exceptions and certain debts may be exempt from a bankruptcy proceeding, such as court ordered child support, tax debt and a prior lien on a property. Exemptions vary by state, thus the benefit of consulting with a bankruptcy attorney in your state before you make any decisions on how to handle your debt.

Source: RecordNet, "Consider bankruptcy options if necessary," Elliot Raphaelson, July 22, 2012

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