Exploring Debt Relief Solutions in  Shreveport-Bossier City, Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana

Simon, Fitzgerald, Cooke, Reed and Welch focuses exclusively on Louisiana bankruptcy law. For over 50 years, we have been helping people get a fresh start by eliminating debt or arranging to pay what they can afford in a Chapter 13.

Bankruptcy is a big step, and there are some trade-offs. It may or may not be the right solution for your financial situation. But there are drawbacks and red flags in the alternatives, too. You need honest answers about all debt relief options to make an informed decision.

Explore Chapter 7 with Louisiana's Oldest Bankruptcy Law Firm

The experienced bankruptcy lawyers of Simon, Fitzgerald, Cooke, Reed and Welch offer a free initial consultation to discuss bankruptcy and the alternatives. Arrange a meeting at one of our five offices across Louisiana:

Shreveport-Bossier CityLake CharlesBaton RougeLafayette

What Are the Alternatives to Bankruptcy?

Some people are opposed to bankruptcy on moral grounds but all of us have moral obligations to our family and dependents. Some fear they will lose everything, that friends or family will find out, or that it will ruin their credit. (See Common Bankruptcy Myths and Your Credit and Life After Bankruptcy.)

We want you to have all the facts, including alternative debt solutions:

Debt Settlement — You may have seen ads offering to cut your debts by negotiating directly with creditors. Even cutting your debts by one-third or one-half may help you immensely. But these services are not always legitimate or effective. Your creditors are under no obligation to bargain with them, and in the meantime you may accumulate more late fees and interest. This option does not prevent you from being sued by creditors.

Debt Consolidation — Some Credit Counseling agencies offer to combine all your debts into one fixed-rate payment. If done correctly, this could save interest and late penalties. Be aware that "affordable payments" spread over 10 or more years doesn't really shrink your debt, and that some creditors will still report you as late if you are paying less than their minimum payment.

Loan modification — Restructuring your mortgage could allow you to avoid foreclosure, by refinancing at a lower rate or by extending the length of the loan. The problem is that loan modifications take many months, with no guarantee of approval. Meanwhile the bank or mortgage company often continues with foreclosure proceedings — a race you can't afford to lose. Up to $35,000.00 of the equity in your home is exempt. Refinancing to pay unsecured creditors may be a poor choice.

If you decide to retain us, the initial consultation services will be included in the fee quoted to you, which will be contained in a separate contract signed when you retain our office.

*We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.