Financial Survival Guide from a Bankruptcy Attorney in Claremont CA: Prioritizing Bills with a Limited Income

When income is limited, managing finances can feel overwhelming. Understanding which bills to pay first is crucial. This guide will help you prioritize your expenses, ensuring you maintain essential services and avoid financial pitfalls. For those facing ongoing difficulties, consulting a bankruptcy attorney in Claremont CA might be the best course of action. Contact Law Offices of Terrence Fantauzzi at (909) 552-1238 for a free legal consultation.

Housing: Your Top Priority

Maintaining your housing should always be your highest priority. Whether you pay rent or a mortgage, keeping a roof over your head is essential. Missing these payments can lead to eviction or foreclosure, threatening your stability.

During challenging times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, some states and cities have implemented eviction freezes and mortgage lenders may offer deferment options. However, it’s important to understand that deferred payments are typically not forgiven but postponed, requiring you to pay them later. Whenever possible, continue making these payments to avoid accumulating unmanageable debt.

Medium Priority: Utilities and Car Payments


After securing your housing, focus on essential utilities like water, electricity, sewer, and gas. Falling behind on these can result in hefty late fees and reactivation charges. Although many utility companies are currently not shutting off services for nonpayment, it’s wise to stay current with these bills. If you’re struggling, contact your utility providers to inquire about hardship programs or payment plans that might be available to you.

Car Payments

In many areas, especially in California, having a reliable car is necessary for commuting to work, buying groceries, and daily life activities. Thus, car payments should also be a medium priority. Avoiding repossession of your vehicle is crucial. Many car lenders are offering payment deferrals, waiving late fees, and providing other assistance options. Reach out to your lender to explore these options if needed.

Lower Priority: Other Bills

Credit Cards, Medical Bills, and Taxes

Once your housing, utilities, and car payments are covered, other expenses can be considered lower priority. This category includes credit card bills, medical bills, and taxes. While these obligations should not be ignored indefinitely, they can often be postponed or negotiated.

Many creditors are willing to work with customers experiencing financial hardship, offering reduced payments or temporary forbearance. Federal student loans, for example, may have automatic forbearance options during certain periods. Always communicate with your creditors to understand what options are available and to avoid further penalties or damage to your credit score.

Seeking Professional Help from a Bankruptcy Attorney in Claremont CA

If your financial situation continues to be dire and unmanageable, it might be time to consult a bankruptcy attorney in Claremont CA. A professional can help you understand if bankruptcy is a viable solution and guide you through the process. They can also provide insights into managing your debts and protecting your assets.

For personalized advice, contact Law Offices of Terrence Fantauzzi at (909) 552-1238 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. They can help you navigate the complexities of bankruptcy and find the best path forward for your financial situation.

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