You may notice that some people seem lucky. When confronting difficult situations they have better options, rebound quickly, and come back stronger. This is not luck. These people plan for success and keep their options open.
Planning for financial success is not as hard as many people lead you to believe. In most situations, discovering you best strategy is nothing more than comparing your options before making a decision. Everyone dreams of winning the lottery occasionally but few believe it is likely. You also know with certainty that bills pour into your mail each month. You have a plan to pay them the best you can, but do not rely on lottery winnings. This simple decision silently includes risk vs. reward analysis based on probabilities.
If you have difficulty paying your monthly expenses, it is time to reevaluate. You have a wide range of options to reduce your expenses, eliminate debt and perhaps increase your income. Each of these options includes a degree of risk. Costs vary as much as potential rewards.
For example, you may consider a debt management plan to reduce your credit card payments by 20%. You may also consider a debt settlement plan that cuts your payments by 60% or even Chapter 7 bankruptcy that wipes out payments and debts completely. Each of these options can help. You must however focus on the probability of achieving your ultimate goal. Consider these options as nothing more than tools at your disposal.
Use your tools wisely. If you need a screwdriver, you would not throw away your hammer because it is in the way. Financial tools are similar. If you choose a debt settlement plan, do not destroy your Chapter 7 option to wipe out all debt and keep all property you own. To do this, you must consider what assets can be taken in bankruptcy and those you may keep. The best strategies seamlessly integrate tools, tactics, and the likelihood of financial success.
Work through your options one by one. Decide if you qualify. Evaluate risk. Analyze your probability of success in each situation. Then, calculate how much you expect to save over the next five years using each option you consider. If your success is not guaranteed--it seldom is--do not destroy your other options.
If you use this approach, you no longer need luck. You will control of your destiny. If your first plan fails you always have an uncompromised solution ready to claim the maximum benefits allowed by law.
Dave Clark is an attorney who is enjoys writing about bankruptcy strategies for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. This article is for a client who asked, "Can I file for Chapter 7 a second time?"
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