Margaret Maxwell McClure
Margaret Maxwell McClure

Bankruptcy Alternatives

Alternatives to Business or Personal Bankruptcy

My name is Margaret McClure and I operate a bankruptcy law practice in Houston, Texas. As an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who understands the benefits and disadvantages of the different types of bankruptcy filings, I would never encourage a client to file a bankruptcy petition if other preferable alternatives to bankruptcy were available.

Part of analyzing whether bankruptcy is the best alternative involves conducting a complete review of my client’s financial circumstances. Once I understand the types and amounts of debt, I am able to offer informed and knowledgeable advice about the best path forward to achieve relief from burdensome debt. Perhaps bankruptcy is, in fact, the best alternative. But in some cases, the financial review uncovers facts that lead me to recommend other alternatives to bankruptcy.

Despite the financial crisis that often drives people to seek legal advice about debt, it is necessary to take the time to complete a thorough financial review. This can be accomplished quickly, but if it is not done correctly, you run the risk of further upsetting your financial security.

Settlement of business or personal debts

Credit card companies and other types of creditors are often open to negotiating a debt settlement agreement outside of bankruptcy. Especially for personal or business debtors who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, private debt settlement may be a real possibility. The creditors understand that a Chapter 7 filing will most likely bar them from recovering any of the money owed. If you prefer to stay out of bankruptcy proceedings but wish to take back control of your debt, debt settlement negotiations may be a good way to proceed.

Past-due taxes and offers in compromise

Most tax debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, the IRS or other taxation authority may be agreeable to an offer in compromise. These are formal repayment plans negotiated with the IRS, in which the IRS may agree to lower the total amount due, freeze the accrual of interest or penalties, or make other concessions to give a taxpayer the chance to take control of past-due tax debt.

Deed in lieu of foreclosure and other foreclosure prevention options

Some bankruptcy lawyers will push clients into bankruptcy as the best alternative when facing a home foreclosure or business foreclosure. Before making decisions to choose the bankruptcy alternative, you should know that other choices may exist. Your mortgage lender may be willing to negotiate a home loan modification, especially now that federal programs encourage such modifications. With real estate, other options may be possible — such as negotiating a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Free Attorney Consultation

Bankruptcy is a life-saving alternative for many individuals, families and businesses. Bankruptcy is not the best alternative for everyone, however. Ease your worries about making a major financial mistake by discussing all the alternatives to bankruptcy in a calming environment with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Schedule a free consultation at my Houston office. Call 713-574-5426 or fill out the contact form to make an appointment.