Bankruptcy and Holiday Spending
It may come as no surprise that filing bankruptcy is usually put off until after the holidays. It’s a season that people think more about spending than saving or eliminating debt. Americans who are tempted to overspend will likely do so this time of year. According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend an average of $967.13 this year. This number has been increasing steadily each year since 2009. Many people have already begun to purchase gifts.
It’s not a good idea to over-spend these next few months. Overspending could impact the amount of non-dischargeable debt you have if you file bankruptcy after the holidays. So, it’s never too late to do some good budgeting to stay in check. Here are some small things that you can do this holiday season that may work for you:
• Encourage guests to bring a dish to pass so that you don’t carry the full cost of hosting a party.
• Avoid large purchases; make some hand-made gifts or home-made dishes that are personal and can be shared with many.
• Make a list and budget before heading to the mall, and stick to it. Avoid the temptations around you.
• Refrain from using credit cards. Once the holidays are over, you could be left with a pile of debt.
• Keep things simple. Money spent on things like house lights or Christmas tree décor can add up.
• Remember that people and relationships are more important that things.
Waiting to File Bankruptcy after Holidays
Whether you’re filing bankruptcy to resolve medical or credit card debt, the sooner you file, the quicker finances can be resolved. Sure, it’s ok to wait a few months to file bankruptcy. Ultimately, the timing of when to file is up to you. Keeping finances on track this time of year is especially challenging. If you’re buying some time due to the holidays, at least avoid adding unnecessary debt.
Here are some quick facts about filing bankruptcy after the holidays:
• After the holidays, bankruptcy may NOT eliminate all of the new debt from Christmas shopping.
• Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option for credit card debt, but may NOT cover recent, unnecessary charges.
• Debts over that past few months that are deemed necessities WILL likely be dischargeable after the holidays.
• You CAN file bankruptcy at any time. Even the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
• Creditors WILL continue to harass you for payment, even over the holidays. Stop harassing phone calls
• Things like gifts and work bonuses that often come this time of year WILL increase your reported income.
• Bankruptcy CAN give you a fresh start, no matter when you file.
Bankruptcy on your Christmas List
Bankruptcy is not something most people want on their Christmas list. Ideally, it would have been great to have eliminated debt before the celebrations began. But the truth of the matter is that the holidays are upon us and bankruptcy may still be on the “to-do” list. Put yourself and your family first by initiating the fresh start that bankruptcy can provide. For more information about chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcies, contact our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Debt Advisors Law Offices. We can answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. We have great client reviews because we like to help people, just like you!
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The less you have to worry about finances, the more you can enjoy the holiday season.