Will bankruptcy help me get my life back on track?
If your debts outweigh your assets, you are probably struggling to make ends meet. You may have underestimated the amount of money you need for retirement, or you had a medical situation that resulted in bills that never seem to stop.
Perhaps you have been thinking of alternatives to get out of debt, and bankruptcy has crossed your mind. So how do you know if bankruptcy is the right move? Some financial advisors offer a few guidelines to determine whether your situation is appropriate for seeking protection from creditors.
Examining your financial situation
If you are over the age of 60, you are in the fastest growing group of people filing for bankruptcy. Many people your age have limited income and few resources. Perhaps you would like to find a job, but your health won’t allow it. Your pension may not stretch as far as you had hoped, and your regular prescriptions may take a big chunk of your monthly checks.
When a catastrophic illness or even a divorce destroyed your reserve funds, you may have found yourself unable to meet your obligations. Some other factors that might cause you to consider bankruptcy may include:
- You are using your credit card for basic necessities.
- You have health insurance, but you have high copays and expenses that your plan doesn’t cover.
- You are unemployed and have no source of income.
- Your ex-spouse has declared bankruptcy, and you are still paying on joint debt.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to seek relief that will either re-organize your debts or discharge many of them altogether. You may be concerned about the stigma attached to filing for bankruptcy. However, you do not need to feel ashamed. An estimated 1.2 million people in Florida and across the rest of the country are in situations similar to yours.
Exploring your options
Your money struggles should not ruin your life. However, people with overwhelming debt often complain of trouble sleeping and other physical reactions to the stress and uncertainty. When creditors are calling or threatening foreclosure, wage garnishment or even jail, it’s hard to think that there is hope for a brighter future.
Finding that opportunity for hope can make all the difference. With the help of a bankruptcy lawyer, you can explore the options available for debt relief and determine which option best works for your situation. With professional assistance, harassment from creditors will end, and you will be able to rebuild your credit and move forward with optimism.