Emily Dickinson told us that hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. April is the National Month of Hope, designated as such by the nonprofit, Mothers in Crisis. Oh, every month is many things; April is also Straw Hat Month, National Safe Digging Month, and Financial Literacy Month. We see a strong connection between hope and financial literacy.
With our apologies to fans of straw hats, digging — or wearing straw hats while digging — hope is an excellent topic for a bankruptcy law firm. April is an ideal month to feel hope for your future. In the Northern Hemisphere, spring comes into full vigor in April. In Frisco, folks feel hope when they see signs for TexasFest in Frisco Square (April 23-24).
If you are struggling with financial straits, April is a great time to feel hope for a way out. One path worth considering is bankruptcy, because you can start a process now, only about a quarter of the way through your year, that will provide plenty of hope and happiness the rest of the year.
Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can put you back on your feet, provide breathing room for catching up on debts, and keep those anxiety-inducing creditors from harassing you. You can feel hope rising within you as you meet with a bankruptcy attorney and realize it is a logical, legal way out from under:
- Medical bills
- Unsecured credit card debt
- High-interest loans
- Payday loans
Your bankruptcy attorney can even structure your debt so that the IRS transforms from lion to lamb (thanks, March!), leaving your paychecks untouched and your home securely yours.
April — besides offering up those awesome hats and safe digging — reminds us to brush up on financial literacy. Bankruptcy is a refuge of last resort; nobody takes out a new bank card with the intent to load it up and immediately declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a perfectly valid way to handle the stress and hopelessness of big debt. A better path, of course, is to avoid the big debt if at all possible.
If you feel you fail at financial literacy, you are not alone. A lack of understanding in personal finance is really not your fault. Very few people have any opportunities for debtor education. Secondary schools seldom teach personal finance in depth. Colleges and universities cater more to the needs of looming lenders than to protection of young adult students. Just where are you supposed to learn financial literacy while simultaneously holding down a job and balancing family, work, and home?
Gaining financial literacy means understanding debt, credit, interest on loans, and how loans are structured. April is an excellent month to dig deep into these topics so that you are not tempted to rack up unsecured debt ahead of the lazy, hazy days of summer.
A primer on financial literacy will give you an overview of the five principal areas:
- Earn money
- Spend wisely
- Save and invest your earnings
- Borrow sensibly
- Protect your money
The U.S. government's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has an excellent clearinghouse of information on financial literacy. A great way to get started is to place yourself in the position of a school-age child (don't feel embarrassed; who is going to know you are really a 40-something homeowner learning sixth-grade lessons about cash flow and budgeting?). The information will be clear, concise, reviewable, and testable.
Another, more concentrated approach is through a structured bankruptcy education program that includes:
- Pre-bankruptcy filing credit counseling
- Post-filing debtor education
Whatever method you choose, make April the month when you resolve to get a good handle on financial literacy. Open a savings account. Increase your contributions to a retirement account. Learn to budget. Taking just one step can give you hope.
Hope and Financial Literacy
Through increased financial literacy, consultation with a bankruptcy attorney, and a plan for a successful financial future, you can combine hope and financial literacy.
You can find a strong, positive path toward a brighter, more hopeful future by putting yourself in the hands of an experienced, compassionate bankruptcy attorney.
At The Page Law Firm we not only provide bankruptcy services to secure our clients' financial future, we provide real education on debt, wise borrowing, and financial literacy. Contact us today or telephone us at 214-618-2101 to arrange your complimentary strategy session for consumer bankruptcy. Not sure if we serve your location? We provide legal services in Frisco, The Colony, Little Elm, Prosper, Allen, Celina, Plano, Carrollton, Anna, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and McKinney.