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It may be time to get help for out-of-control debt

Florida residents who struggle to pay their bills each month and have no extra money left over are not alone. In fact, 62 percent of people around the country do not have even $1,000 in a savings account, and one-third of Americans have no money saved for retirement. One of the reasons some people have such a hard time saving money is that they must make payments on multiple lines of credit each month.

A person who has overwhelming debt from credit card balances, student loans and home equity lines of credit may need to work with a credit counselor to get a handle on finances. One of the signs that it is time to speak to a credit counselor is when a person starts living paycheck to paycheck. When the money that is coming in just barely covers the money that needs to go out, an unexpected emergency expense could be a disaster.

Paying bills late is another bad sign that can show that debt has gotten out of hand. When credit card balances start racking up late fees, these fees are added to the balance, and the interest can start to snowball. A debtor may then be faced with debt collections attempts that can include threatening calls, letters and even lawsuits.

People with outstanding debt that they cannot pay off in a reasonable time frame can put an end to collections attempts by filing for bankruptcy. For those with a regular income, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option than filing under Chapter 7. An lawyer can outline the eligibility requirements of each chapter.

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