DAVID M. OFFEN PHILADELPHIA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

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1 FIVE KEY CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE FILING BANKRUPTCY IN PHILADELPHIA Examine These Five Details and Discuss Your Situation with an Attorney to Ensure that You are Comfortable Moving Forward and Confident that This Is the Right Decision at the Present Time DAVID M. OFFEN PHILADELPHIA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

2 Has the time come for you to consider filing bankruptcy? Although this is a big decision that will impact your finances now and in the future, it is one that you may have to make. Taking the first step can be a challenge, as you know you are doing something that will change your life. That being said, you have to consider the future. You have to consider the fact that the pain you go through now could make your life much better down the line. Before filing for bankruptcy, one of the best things you can do is consult with an attorney. Not only can this person answer your questions, but they will be able to help with the filing process as well. Note: you have the right to file for bankruptcy without an attorney, but this is a lot of work for somebody who does not have any knowledge of the law and the bankruptcy court requirements. Here are five key considerations before filing bankruptcy: 1. Is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 right for you? It is easy to believe that both types of bankruptcy are similar, but nothing could be further from the truth. With Chapter 7, you are in position to have some or all of your debt discharged. With Chapter 13, however, you are reorganizing your debt and making payments to creditors through a repayment plan that typically lasts 3

3 between three to five years. Depending on your situation, one may be much better than the other. Learn the ins and outs of both types, including eligibility requirements, before making a final decision. 2. Is bankruptcy the only option? You may think that bankruptcy is the best way out, but there could be another strategy that will help you get your financial life back on track. For example, you may be able to borrow money to pay off your debt with creditors. 3. Where you live is taken into consideration. Did you know that bankruptcy laws differ from state to state? This is just one of the many reasons why you need to work with a bankruptcy attorney. Note: make sure your attorney is licensed to practice in your particular state. Along with this, the person should have experience with past bankruptcy cases in your home state. 4

4 4. It is not as simple as it sounds. On the surface, you may look at bankruptcy and see an easy way to discharge or reorganize your debt. As you dig deeper, you will find that there are steps to take that will come up along the way. There are documents to complete, and questions to answer, but with an experienced lawyer you are going to make your way through bankruptcy to the other side and with it the start of a better financial life. 5. A bankruptcy must list all debts. You can t file bankruptcy and choose to pay back loans that you have from friends, but not pay back your credit cards. All debts that you owe are required to be listed. You can however, continue to pay a mortgage or car that you are keeping even though you have listed the creditor in the bankruptcy. Before filing for bankruptcy, you should examine these five details and discuss your situation and options with an attorney. This will ensure that you are comfortable moving forward and confident that this is the right decision at the present time. Remember that the purpose of the bankruptcy laws is to help make your life better. 5

5 About the Author David M. Offen A native to the Philadelphia area, Mr. Offen attended Temple University College and Law School. Mr. Offen is licensed to practice in the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is a member of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. David M. Offen has over 20 years of experience and has helped over 8,500 individuals and families go through the Bankruptcy process. These filings have included stopping foreclosure on a home, stopping repossession of a car or vehicle, stopping IRS tax levies and frozen bank accounts and putting a stop to; lawsuits, credit card bills, personal loan, bills, utility shutoffs and other types of debt. With Mr. Offen s help, these families have saved countless millions of dollars of debt. David enjoys getting to know his clients and will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have. You are treated as a person and not a number. Remember there is no such thing as a silly question. Don t be afraid to ask any questions you may have. David M. Offen has found that people looking to file Bankruptcy are not trying to avoid their responsibilities but rather to make a difficult situation easier. David enjoys getting people to stop worrying and making their financial lives much better and stop feeling overwhelmed. In some cases, Bankruptcy is not the best move and he can review your situation with you and tell you the right move for you to make. Get a completely free evaluation of your situation. For the past 20 years, the Law Offices of David M. Offen has been among the top filers of bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Law Offices of David M. Offen The Curtis Center 601 Walnut Street, Suite 160 West 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA (215)

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