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How to Tell If You Are Living Beyond Your Means

concerned couple reviewing financial documentsBills are unavoidable, but there comes a time in many people’s lives where they struggle just to stay afloat. If your debt-to-income ratio exceeds a healthy amount, you could wake up every morning feeling ill at the prospect of never climbing out of debt.

There are ways to better your circumstances, even if you are having difficulty finding a better-paying job. First, though, you need to identify the signs of living beyond one’s means to see if they apply to you.

You Have No Money to Save
Do you find that you cannot save money because most or all of your income is claimed by debt payments or living expenses? Some people even owe more each month than they earn. If you feel like you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you are likely living beyond your means.

Debt Defines the Majority of Your Expenses
You can’t avoid grocery bills, utility bills, and living expenses. However, if paying down debt — school loans, credit cards, car loans, second mortgages, etc. — defines the majority of your expenses each month, you are trapped in a situation that will be difficult to get out of without the assistance of a qualified attorney.

You Feel Hopeless
Right before they reach out to a bankruptcy lawyer in Erie, PA, many people experience a feeling of hopelessness. It’s hard to get up and go to work each day knowing you are still chained to your debt and that you’re not even saving money up for your retirement. Without that debt, you can find hope again.

Three Benefits to Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney

gavel and book on bankruptcy lawDue to the long-lasting consequences of deciding to file for bankruptcy, many people are hesitant even to consider the possibility of doing so. However, filing for bankruptcy is sometimes the only way out of a difficult situation. Before taking any action, it is in your best interest to enlist the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Here are some ways the right bankruptcy attorney in Pittsburgh can make this delicate process considerably less stressful, both financially and emotionally.

Making Sense of Your Files
It’s no surprise that so many people have trouble organizing and making sense of their various financial documents. However, being able to do so can prove immensely helpful when preparing to file for bankruptcy. This is where a skilled attorney enters the equation. The right bankruptcy attorney will be able to get your documentation in order in a timely and professional manner, ultimately making it easier for you to file.

Stopping Creditor Harassment
Dealing with creditor harassment can be stressful on some levels. Some creditors will even resort to contacting your friends and family members if they are unable to get a hold of you. Fortunately, a bankruptcy attorney can prove invaluable in stopping this harassment in its tracks. A reasonable attorney knows your rights when it comes to persistent creditors and will not hesitate to help you exercise them.

Preparing You for What’s to Come
When preparing to file for bankruptcy, many people are frightened by the uncertainty of their situation. Luckily, a knowledgeable attorney can lay out what the future will look like in detail, effectively preparing you for the aftermath of your filing.

Tips for Filing for Bankruptcy: Part 2

young man at office desk reading a letter with concernFiling for bankruptcy is just one option for getting out of mountainous debt that seems to have no end. Thankfully, it is not the only option available to you. There are a few things you can do before filing for bankruptcy. Consulting a team of bankruptcy lawyers like McElrath Legal Holdings, LLC. is a great step in getting rid of your financial woes. Here are more tips you should consider before filing for bankruptcy.

Credit Counseling
Before filing for bankruptcy, you will need to complete credit counseling and obtain a certificate after completion. A bankruptcy law firm in Pittsburgh, PA like McElrath Legal Holdings, LLC. can help you with credit counseling and financial planning. With over 17 years of experience with financial advising, the legal team is sure to be able to help you with your debt.

Inform Your Debt Collectors and Creditors
If you and a reputable attorney determine that bankruptcy is the best option for your debt, the next step would be to contact all creditors and debt collectors that you are filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy law requires these entities to refrain from making collections efforts (such as making phone calls and sending letters) once the bankruptcy petition is successfully filed in court.

Tips for Filing for Bankruptcy: Part 1

woman removing credit card from walletIndividuals and businesses alike may think filing for bankruptcy is the only option when they are faced with excessive, seemingly uncontrollable debt. However, filing for bankruptcy is not your only option -and for some, it may not even be an option at all. If you know filing for bankruptcy is your only way out, contact McElrath Legal Holdings, LLC. for consulting and legal representation. Here are a few things to consider before filing for bankruptcy.

Access Finances
Get all of your finances in order. Know exactly what your income, expenses and total debts entail. Also, pay close attention to what caused your financial problem in the first place. Learn from your mistakes and think about how it can be avoided in the future.

Check Your Free Credit Report
Free credit report resources found online can provide you with information on all the creditors you owe in one place. There are some individuals who think that because the debt collectors have stopped contacting, they are now free from the debt they owe. This is not the case at all. You very much still owe that money back to your debtor, and you will see that on your free credit report.

These are two tips to consider before filing for bankruptcy. If you need consulting on financial planning or bankruptcy, you will want an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Erie, PA, like McElrath Legal Holdings, LLC. Call 1-800-BANKRUPT today to inquire about our services.

Three Traits to Look for in a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy can be immensely stressful and emotionally draining. When many people reach the point at which bankruptcy becomes inevitable, they feel lost and are unclear on what their next move should be. If this describes your situation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a reputable bankruptcy attorney.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that not all bankruptcy lawyers in Pittsburgh are equally dependable. To ensure that you wind up in the right hands, limit your choices to bankruptcy attorneys who possess the following traits.

  1. They Can Thoroughly Discuss Your Options

Even if you think bankruptcy is your only viable option, this may not be the case. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to review your case promptly and work out a list of pros and cons to going the bankruptcy route. Even if bankruptcy is what you ultimately decide upon, knowing that you have alternate options is liable to provide tremendous peace of mind.

  1. They Are Readily Available

Filing for bankruptcy is far from a simple process. As such, it requires regular communication between you and your lawyer. Unfortunately, if your attorney proves inattentive or unresponsive to your calls or emails, this can draw out the process and ultimately compound your stress. With this in mind, look for a bankruptcy lawyer who provides prompt replies to client queries.

  1. Their Rates Are Reasonable

If you are in the process of filing for bankruptcy, odds are you don’t have a lot to spend on legal fees — and an experienced bankruptcy lawyer will understand this. An attorney who does good work for reasonable rates can be a tremendous boon to anyone experiencing bankruptcy firsthand.

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome to the blog of McElrath Legal Holdings, LLC. If you are seeking a bankruptcy attorney in Pittsburgh, Paul McElrath and his team should be at the top of your list. For 17 years, McElrath Legal Holdings, LLC. has helped residents in Pennsylvania with a wide variety of bankruptcy, financial, and tax issues. Whether your financial struggles are a result of economic distress, job loss, massive medical bills, or divorce, we are here to help. During financial difficulties, it is important to hire a bankruptcy lawyer you can trust.

You will likely experience financial concerns of one type or another in your lifetime. There is no reason for shame or blame in these situations; financial concerns require positive action. Let Paul McElrath and his team help you with that positive action. We are well-versed in a wide variety of financial services and legal matters including bankruptcy, tax help, financial consulting, and wealth/estate planning.

When troubling debt becomes too much to handle, there is no choice but to look into debt relief options. If you are unsure of what to do next regarding your financial situation, contact McElrath Legal Holdings, LLC. From your initial consultation to the dissolution of your debt, our dedicated bankruptcy attorney in Pittsburgh is available to help you move toward a brighter financial future.