Filing for Bankruptcy? Here's What You Need to Know

When you are considering making your bankruptcy application, you must take into consideration that the rest of your life could be potentially negatively affected, you may have trouble finding work, and your credit score will be besmirched for six years. Making the decision to file for bankruptcy can unfortunately be one of the hardest things you may have to do as an adult and can have serious consequences for your personal life, and your family's. Bankruptcy may strike unexpectedly, as debtors can approach a court and ask for it without your knowledge, or you may make the application yourself; however, bankruptcy meets you, you should not take it lightly and you should seek professional advice.

Whether you are deciding whether or not you should file for bankruptcy or advising a loved one, it must be undertaken with extreme caution, and be carefully thought through. Here is what you need to know about filing for bankruptcy.

Seek Legal Aid

When you or a loved one is considering making an application for bankruptcy, it is absolutely fundamental that you seek professional legal aid. Bankruptcy administrators are there to give you solid advice, and these experts can help you maneuver through the difficult and rocky landscape that is a bankruptcy declaration. In certain circumstances, bankruptcy can be avoided, and a professional legal aid should be able to decide whether or not your personal situation warrants this.

Deciding to file for bankruptcy should not be taken lightly, and even though after the first year your bankruptcy period will be over, and your debts wiped, you can still face adversity in the future, and your credit score will be marked for a period of six years. Before filling out your bankruptcy form, make sure you have done the proper research and consulted a legal aid; this is an area that should not be ventured into alone. Legal aid is crucial.

Decide When Bankruptcy is Appropriate

There are certain circumstances where bankruptcy is appropriate and absolutely necessary, and bankruptcy with its disadvantages put to one side, can help you through your debt and provide you with a long-overdue light at the end of the tunnel.

Bankruptcy may be the best decision for you if you are in a lot of unsecured debt and see no likely way of being able to pay it back; have very little belongings and your car is worth less than $2,000, and there is likely no way at all you would be able to pay back your debt in the next six months.

There is no debt that does not warrant bankruptcy, nor is there a limit, and if you simply cannot pay, then you can file for bankruptcy even if your debt is a few hundred. Although, if you do have the means to pay it back whether through assets or hidden finances, you should certainly do so.

When Should Bankruptcy Be Avoided

When you apply for bankruptcy, your financial record becomes open to the public, which some people may want to avoid, and if in the future you see a way out of debt, such as a big payoff or a pension fund, you may want to use that toward your debts and arrange a repayment schedule.

Certain professions will bar members from having filed, or filing of, bankruptcy. If you are an estate agent or an attorney, you may wish to think twice, as filing for bankruptcy may mean that you lose your job and are unable to work, which will surely only make your financial situation much worse than it already is.

The Declaration Process

If you have decided that there is absolutely no solution other than bankruptcy, then you must hasten to start the process. Your application will incur a cost that can be paid back monthly, but it is better to be paid back immediately after your application is filed, as you will be living on a reduced budget and monthly payments may not be manageable.

During your period of bankruptcy, you will likely be living very frugally, and for the period immediately after your bankruptcy declaration, your bank accounts and assets will be frozen and seized, respectively. You should make sure you withdraw a small amount of money, not too much, to ensure you and your family can survive during this period when you cannot access your money or assets.

Always take bankruptcy very seriously and never lightly. You should always give your situation serious consideration before applying, as it can impact the rest of your life negatively. Avoid bankruptcy where and when you can and honor your debts to ensure things never spiral out of control. Bankruptcy can change your life, and your family's lives, forever.

3 Min Read

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.