Unemployed in Garner? Bankruptcy May Be Your Best Hope as NC Cuts Benefits Again Skip to main content

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Unemployed in Garner? Bankruptcy May Be Your Best Hope as NC Cuts Benefits Again


Unemployment can be depressing

Unemployed in Garner? Bankruptcy can help

Image source: Jerry John via Flickr Creative Commons

The most recent unemployment numbers available are for March 2014 and the good news is that North Carolina is lower than the national average and Garner (as part of the Wake County/Raleigh statistics) has even better results. Nationwide, unemployment is at 6.7% and in NC is a little better at 6.3% but the greater Raleigh area is 5.1%. This sounds like really great news, but there is still some doubt about how good this is for all consumers.

Does the lower unemployment rate in Garner mean more people got jobs?

It would be the best scenario if the improving unemployment numbers meant that jobless workers finally found jobs, but many analysts think this is simply not the case. Instead, they believe that for many consumers that ran out of long term unemployment benefits since NC made their big policy change, that they simply gave up and dropped out of the workforce. That benefits the numbers in two different ways. First, it takes them out of the unemployed count. Second, it reduces the number of people that are in the employment pool.

How does the lower unemployment number further punish North Carolina jobless?

We wrote earlier this month about how North Carolina's recent unemployment legislation will continue to slash benefits as employment numbers “improve.” The improvement in numbers reported in March will decrease benefits by another five weeks. As of July, unemployment compensation will drop from a maximum of 19 weeks down to 14 weeks making it the lowest in the country for benefits to assist the jobless. This seems needlessly harsh, but it is the law and we're stuck with it for now. So what's a Garner consumer to do? Let's talk about options.

What can you do to pay your bills if you're unemployed in Garner?

In addition to dropping the number of weeks you can get benefits, the maximum amount of benefit per week has been dratically cut by North Carolina's austere legislation. Max weekly benefits dropped from $535 down to $350 – a whopping 35% cut. If you've lost your job and were earning a decent wage, this cut means losing out on $800 a month that would have helped you pay your mortgage and put food on the table. This is a stunning loss for those struggling with joblessness. But again, it's the law. So what can you do? You need to cut your expenses as much as possible and get very aggressive on your job search. You may also need to consider bankruptcy.

How can bankruptcy help the long-term unemployed?

To get the best results from a bankruptcy, it's best to file once you've found a new job. Why? Because any bills that are incurred after your bankruptcy filing won't be relieved and can leave you with lasting money problems. Conducting an aggressive job search is the first order of business. Cast your net wide, tap your network for leads and consider jobs that may not offer the salary you're accustomed to but that can at least enable you to pay your bills. Once you have a job again, there are two bankruptcy options to consider – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Why bankruptcy chapter is better for the recently unemployed?

If you feel behind on your mortgage and car payments while unemployed, but you still have equity in your home and vehicle, Chapter 13 may be preferable because it will allow you time to get caught up on your bills. On the other hand, if you're current on your mortgage or too far behind to get caught up or in a hopelessly negative equity situation, Chapter 7 may be a better option to get you a totally clean financial slate.

But you don't need to try and figure out which is best on your own. Contact the law offices of John T Orcutt for a free consultation at our Garner office on Highway 70 West or any of our other convenient locations. Bring in your bills and your pay stub and we'll look over all of your information and advise you which bankruptcy chapter will best meet your needs – or if another measure is better to deal with your debts.

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