One of the best parts of being a bankruptcy attorney in Indianapolis is when I get an e-mail order from the bankruptcy court with a client’s discharge order. This order is the most significant part of any bankruptcy client’s case. A discharge order is the legal document that means a client’s dischargeable debt is no longer owed.
When my clients receive this order in the mail from my office I am sure it is a relief. They are now done with the bankruptcy process and can move on with their financial lives. But, I don’t just send a copy of the discharge order…..I send a two-page letter explaining the discharge as well as some financial suggestions. First, I suggest that each of my clients meet with a financial advisor. Now that they have discharged the debt that they have likely been concentrating on for so long it is time to begin concentrating on saving money and planning for retirement. I also suggest that my clients take this opportunity to review their life insurance needs. Many of my clients either do not have life insurance or have way too little life insurance. I completely understand that when trying to make ends meet while attempting to pay down debt that sometimes life insurance seems like a luxury. However, now that the debt has been discharged life insurance should be reexamined. Finally, I recommend that my clients review their estate planning needs. Again, many of my clients do not have a will, powers of attorney or a living will. However, these documents are of the utmost importance and must be a part of post-bankruptcy financial rehabilitation.
In my final letter to a bankruptcy client with the discharge order I include cards for a financial planner and a life insurance agent that I have used personally. I also offer the services of Greg Halcomb, an attorney with Halcomb Singler, who spends the majority of his time on estate planning.
Another issue that my clients face is an onslaught of credit card applications and offers for cars. This can be a confusing time for my clients. They are often torn between wanting to stay away from debt and wanting to re-establish credit. This is a tough issue. I personally hate credit cards. However, I do think it is a good idea for a client to get one credit card to use minimally and PAY OFF EVERY MONTH after bankruptcy. As far as a car is concerned, no one should ever take on debt for a car just in an attempt to better their credit. If a vehicle NEEDS to be replaced try to find a reliable used vehicle that works within your post-bankrupcy budget….not a brand new car with all the bells and whistles with a $600 per month payment for 72 months (don’t get me started on 72 month financing).
Finally, it is important to make sure that you have a realistic and workable budget in order (including a plan for emergency savings) so that when you have a financial emergency it is more likely that you will be able to weather the storm.
If you are at the end of your financial rope and are reading this blog because you live in the Indianapolis area and are considering bankruptcy I recommend that you contact my firm to set up an appointment. I will take an hour to explain the pros and cons of bankruptcy as well as what bankruptcy can or cannot do, answer your questions and state whether bankruptcy is or not a good idea for your situation. To set up an appointment call (317) 575-8222 or click here. I look forward to meeting you.
Halcomb Singler, LLP, is a debt relief agency. It helps people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code. No attorney-client relationship with the firm of Halcomb Singler, LLP, is created through this blog. Also, please note that Erika Singler is an attorney licensed in Indiana and does not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so. The information contained in this blog is general in nature and should not be relied upon for the circumstances of any individual(s) or businesses.