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This year has been filled with unexpected events and outcomes for many families.  A turbulent economy, unexpected challenges in careers, and the loss of the comforting sense of status quo have all presented unique challenges to daily life. In times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to keep a close hand on your financial habits and not use a back-burner approach to managing your debts.

Outline Your Goals

The first step in any plan to resolve a barrier, financial or otherwise, is to outline your goals. What objectives do you have for growing your savings account? Do you have growing debt burdens that need addressing before you can plan for saving? Are there any assets at risk of repossession over faltering on debt payments? These questions and more are the pillars of your plan to develop into steps of action.

Create Actionable Items

Once you have your goals outlined, rank them in order of importance. Any debts that are tied to assets or at risk of being lost to creditors are priority. Lower level debts, such as unsecured medical debts and some credit card debts, would come later in your plan. Using the rank of importance, list the total debt owed and re-rank them by highest balance. Try using one of several debt repayment strategies such as the “snowball” method, in which you focus all extra income towards your lowest balance debt first until paid off. Continue this process with each subsequent debt until you reach your goal.  If you have secured debts that are tied to assets, or at risk of losing property, stop planning and consult with a Sacramento bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney can halt debt collections, while protecting your property through bankruptcy exemption laws.

Consult a Professional

When looking to get out of debt, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone has a unique financial situation that should be carefully considered before consolidating debts through a loan, or negotiating with creditors. While you may be able to successfully navigate debt relief options or a bankruptcy alone, there is more risk of harm in doing so. If you want to get out of debt while minimizing any impact to potential assets, consult with a Sacramento bankruptcy attorney for professional guidance.