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Signs it's time to file for bankruptcy

Even as the economy improves, there are many Florida residents that struggle to pay the bills each month. With no other option, some cash-strapped people are forced to use credit cards to pay for basic things like gas, food and utility bills. Using credit for necessary expenses is one sign that a person's finances are out of control, and it may be time to file for bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy is not the right choice for everyone, but it may be the only way that some people can get out of a debt cycle. If a person is using a credit card to pay for necessary expenses at the end of the month and then continuing to make only the minimum monthly payment, the unpaid credit card debt will get higher each month. Breaking this cycle by applying for bankruptcy may allow a person to get a fresh financial start.

People who are trapped in a debt cycle may eventually become unable to make the minimum monthly payments on their credit cards or pay their utility bills and mortgage. When payments are missed, a debtor may be barraged with calls from bill collectors, utility shut-off notices and foreclosure attempts. Filing for bankruptcy can stop these actions and pending lawsuits from proceeding any further.

A lawyer may be able to help a person who is overwhelmed by financial obligations to determine whether bankruptcy is the best option. In cases where the debtor has a steady income and no delinquencies, a lawyer may recommend a debt consolidation service instead of bankruptcy. A lawyer may also help a homeowner to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a process that may eliminate some debt while allowing people to keep their home and other valuable assets.

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