Almost everyone has to deal with debt of some form or another, and by its very nature, borrowing money comes with some anxiety. But when does a degree of normal and natural concern over repaying a debt become something more?
If you are truly overwhelmed by debt, you need to pursue the real world solution of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help you get a fresh financial start, and will be more effective at addressing your financial problems if you begin the process at the right time. There are a few keys indicators that can tell you the time has come: your concern over debt has reached the point where the responsible thing to do is to explore bankruptcy.
Pay attention to bills, income and your own anxiety level
It is perfectly acceptable to trust your internal barometer when considering bankruptcy; if you feel like your debt has gotten out of control, it likely has. But there are also some tangible signs that can indicate that you should look into bankruptcy.
Look at your behavior surrounding bills. Are you consistently paying bills late? Do you make only the minimum payment on credit card bills? Are bill collectors calling you at your home or office? If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," you might benefit from exploring bankruptcy.
Your current approach to debt can also be a high water mark. There are many "half measures" when confronting debt, like debt consolidation and credit counseling. If you are considering these options, you may be better off going right to bankruptcy, or at least discussing them with someone also familiar with bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a protection built into federal law; on the other hand, there are no guarantees with these other types of debt services. All too often, promises to deal with debt without filing for bankruptcy are too good to be true, and will actually leave you in a worse position when you ultimately do file a bankruptcy case.
You also want to look at the ratio of your income stream to your spending and repayment obligations. If, after putting food on the table and a roof over your head, you do not have enough income left to make meaningful payments on debt, you have a serious problem to whichbankruptcy may be the only solution.
Finally, do not discount your own mental state. Being frazzled, worried by debt and harassed by debt collectors are all legitimate concerns. Bankruptcy will stop the calls and the letters and allow you to get some peace.
Bankruptcy laws are in place to protect you; use them with the help of a lawyer
Deciding that you need to pursue bankruptcy is not easy, and for most people it is even scary at first. But, after speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, many of your fears will be allayed. Bankruptcy does not mean you will lose all your possessions or will never be able to own a home. On the contrary, it can free you from the obligations that are holding you back from a better life.
Bankruptcy protections are built into the law for a reason. You should not feel as though you have reneged on any moral obligations by filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is meant to help people just like you.
If debt is becoming an overwhelming force in your life, take action to set things right. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney today and learn how to get a fresh start.