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Are you having financial difficulties? You are not alone

No matter how well you plan for retirement or financial stability, a health concern or a lost job can quickly throw your future off track. Even incredibly wealthy people can find themselves in similar financial straits; drowning in debt due to circumstances beyond their control.

Teen idol in financial straits

In the 1970s, David Cassidy was a teen heartthrob in the wildly popular musical-sitcom The Partridge Family. He ultimately enjoyed a lifelong career as a successful pop star and actor. Now, at age 66, Cassidy is wrapping up a long, drawn-out bankruptcy process.

Like most people, Cassidy lived the type of lifestyle that fit with his level of income and career success. He had a mortgage, nice cars, lawyer bills (from lawsuits unrelated to his bankruptcy), a large line of credit with his bank and a mass of credit card debt. Unfortunately, royalties from his heydays as a teen idol were dwindling and increasing age and health concerns made it more difficult for him to perform, further reducing his income.

Choosing between the two types of bankruptcy

While some people wipe the slate clean with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Others pay off their debts over time through a Chapter 13 reorganization. The bankruptcy process that is best for one person or family may not work for another.

Chapter 7 may be available to those with very high debt or very low income. Applicants for this type of bankruptcy must pass the "means test" in order to qualify. Chapter 13 is available for those who are unable to qualify for Chapter 7 or those who choose pay off their debts over a three to five year period.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both bankruptcy processes. Don't wait until you are in serious financial trouble to talk to a lawyer at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, about your options.

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