For many people in Mississippi who are struggling to pay down debts, filing for bankruptcy is a viable option to improve their financial position. During the peak of the recent financial downturn, almost 1.6 million bankruptcies were filed. The majority of those filings were made by consumers. The total number of annual filings dropped to under 800,000 by the time ten years had passed. People who have credit card debt may be able to get a fresh start via bankruptcy.

If the person is in a position where he or she has a lot of debt and does not own major assets like a home, a bankruptcy filing can clean the slate. As part of the bankruptcy process, petitioners are required to complete finance classes. These classes, which are taken both before and after the bankruptcy, can provide education, information and perspective that can be useful to the person going forward.

As many as two-thirds of all bankruptcies are filed because the person has medical debt. Going through divorce is also a common catalyst for bankruptcy filings. It’s a misconception that people who file for bankruptcy have to give up all of their assets. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filer may have the opportunity to reaffirm certain debts and keep assets like a home or a car.

Individuals who have questions about the bankruptcy process might want to schedule a meeting with a lawyer. A lawyer who has experience practicing bankruptcy law may be able to help by examining the client’s debts and income and suggesting options to reduce or eliminate outstanding debts. A lawyer may be able to help by drafting and filing the petition to begin the bankruptcy case, by communicating with the bankruptcy trustee on the client’s behalf or by ensuring the client completes necessary counseling and other requirements.