For the millions of people that suffer through the reality of troubled finances, bankruptcy is a very real option, though it may not be the best option in all situations. Perhaps because they are under pressure to quickly resolve their money woes, those that struggle financially tend not to think things through completely. They are prone to making quick decisions without first considering all of the potential consequences that might result. Such is the case with personal bankruptcy. While claiming bankruptcy can be a valid option for those seeking financial relief, there are some things that should be made clear before the paperwork is filed.

Chief among the misconceptions regarding bankruptcy is the belief that it will somehow completely erase your financial concerns, allowing you to continue on with your life without issue. Whenever you hear some say "I'll just claim bankruptcy," you really have to wonder what they're thinking. The fact is that bankruptcy is far from a no strings attached solution, and there is nothing easy about it. Before you can even fill out the bankruptcy claim forms to get the process started, your finances will be scrutinized and you will asked to declare all of your assets, liabilities and even list your household income. If you decide to go through with process, some of your listed assets will be used to pay back certain portions of your debt, and while some of your debt will be forgiven through the process, other forms like child support and alimony will not. You will still be required to pay this debt back even after the bankruptcy process is completed, which incidentally can take 8-10 years. During this time it will be almost impossible to qualify for any type of decent credit.

Now that you're aware of some of the consequences associated with claiming bankruptcy, you need to know how to properly initiate the process. The best thing you can do is to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney, who can help you make the best choice regarding when and how to file. A good attorney can also discuss some of the many alternatives to a bankruptcy claim, of which there are many. Ultimately, bankruptcy can be a saving grace for those looking for a way out of financial misery, though it's critical that people have a thorough understanding of the process before getting started. So be sure to take the time to consider your options before making a firm commitment one way or the other.