Serious debt happens to most people before they realize it. Even though it’s always there, only when the income stops do the debt obligations get really noticed. And in a recession like the one that has plagued our country for the last three years, loss of income is a common thing.
Bankruptcy can serve as a lifeline for those who finally reach the point where decisions have to be made about which bills get paid. Lately, it seems as if a lot of people are choosing their credit cards and utilities over their mortgages, as “strategic defaults”—people purposely not paying their mortgage—are on the rise. But your mortgage is still a debt and if you owe it, you should try to pay it or find a legal remedy to alleviate the drag if causes on your checking account. And for most, the best legal remedy is bankruptcy.
Much to Washington’s chagrin, personal bankruptcies remain in a period of growth. Efforts and programs to slow them have fallen flat. For most, it starts out as a slight decrease in hours worked each week. Then it becomes the elimination of medical benefits and thus, the added weight of having to cover the family’s monthly premiums, which can easily be in the thousands. If that does not tip the scale into “emergency time,” usually complete job loss does.
Far too many Americans allow the social stigma of bankruptcy to hamper their decision. Instead, that only makes things progressively worse because the longer one takes to file while needing to, the more challenging their case can become when it reaches court. The best thing to do is spend a few hours researching the true benefits of bankruptcy (search our blog by typing “benefits of bankruptcy” into the search field) and looking for the millions of examples of people who have rebounded after filing. In short, you are not alone. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Not only that, there are many, many families that are unfortunately in even worse condition.
The wife of a trucker in Maryland recently expressed her thoughts on bankruptcy after her and her husband realized their financial situation had taken a turn for the worse. “I know I’m not alone,” she said. “There’s millions and millions of people out there that’s probably in worse shape than myself. I’ve had a lot of friends evicted from homes because they couldn’t afford to pay their rent ... Filing the bankruptcy was the only way we could see daylight.”
That kind of sentiment, even if you are reluctant to relate to it, can be somewhat re-assuring. No, it’s not good that more people are hurting, but it should help you realize that there are people who you can turn to for advice and encouragement on how to get through the difficult times.
Families across America recount instances of bad luck in explaining their reasons for filing bankruptcy. It’s a common tale. Just when things are on the edge and it looks like a path out of the jungle has been found, something else pounces on you, setting you back even farther. Whether taking the form of car repairs or medical emergencies, these are the financial events that you can’t see coming. So, once your savings are exhausted, the results of those events have to be mended with credit cards. From there, you only get more lost. But bankruptcy can be your compass.
As we mentioned, peruse this blog for topics that interest you and sound familiar to your situation. We have case studies, posts about bankruptcy rules, the filing process, choosing an attorney and even content about alternatives to bankruptcy. If we can help you feel better about your financial future, then we’ve done our jobs. Good luck!