Signs of being bankrupt
So if you are bankrupt, or fear you are, what are some signs to take stock of your situation?
COLLECTION CALLS – When you get backed up on your debts, the phone rings. And rings. And rings. It is often the same handful of debt collectors asking you for a payment over and over again.
EVICTION NOTICES – When you are late on the rent, landlords typically more quickly to evict. In Oregon you’ll get a 72 hour notice to quit or pay and if you don’t pay, you’ll be quickly served with an eviction lawsuit.
LAWSUIT SERVICE -When you don’t pay you debts, you get sued. These cases result in court judgments, especially if you receive certified letters or knocks at the door from a process servers and take no action.
GARSNISHMENT – When you receive a judgment against you, the next step the debt collector will do is to take a portion of you wages directly from your employer or seize the balances in your bankruptcy account if they can find it. This is called a garnishment.
JUDGMENT DEBTOR EXAM – If the collector can’t find a bank account or your job, they can force you to disclose where your property is so they can seize it. This is called a judgment debtor exam, and you are required by court order to attend if served.
FORECLOSURE – When you fail to pay you mortgage, the holder of the mortgage will want to sell the home to recover whatever monies they can from the mortgage loan and evict you from the property. This is called foreclosure.
VEHICLE REPOSSESSION – When you don’t make all the payments owed on your vehicles, the owner of the loan on the vehicle will want it back. They do so by sending a repossession company to physically get the car from you. This is called a repossession.
TAX LEVIES AND DISTRAINT WARRANTS: If you owe taxes, the IRS or the Department of Revenue for Oregon Resident will put a lien on your property until their debts are paid and move to sell your assets or garnishment your wages or accounts.
REDUCTION IN INCOME: When your income is cut, for any reason, the structure of your ability to pay bills and stay afloat is reduced and may eventually leads to a significant financial issue if you are unable to rebound quickly.
MONTH RUNS OUT OF MONEY: When you have more days left each money than you do money to pay the bills and use to live on, the fear, pain, and sickness of not having money can be overwhelming.
ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL: Constantly juggling lines of credit, minimum payments, open lines, and grace periods leads to errors in the juggle that topples the house of cards for many.
RAIDING RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS AND HOME EQUITY ACCOUNTS: If you are looking to access 401(k) loans or home equity lines to pay debts, you may be considering a long term solution to a short term debt problem. Before you dig into retirement to pay debts, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. In most cases, retirement accounts are completely protected in bankruptcy.
LACK OF SLEEP: When bills and debts stack up, for many, especially whoever views herself or himself as the breadwinner in the family, sleep can be fleeting and unrejuvenating.
There can be many more signs. Depression, self medication, negative self image, general unhappiness, the list can go one and on.
When looking at you own situation, no single sign above means you are bankrupt. But taken as a whole, the signs above may point to the harsh reality that you are closer to, or even over, the line of being bankrupt than you may have thought.