So, you've found yourself way over your head in debt. You're certainly not alone. If the fact that you aren't alone in your financial distress doesn't buoy your spirits, try this: Help is available
Maybe you're just able
to keep paying your rent, utilities and living expenses. Anything above and beyond those payments has likely been put off repeatedly, like student loan debt, quickly compounding credit card bills
, personal loans and medical bills.
It may appear to the untrained eye that you are doing 'ok' since you are able to remain in your home, pay your utility bills, and put food on your table. However, only you know exactly just how 'not ok
' your financial situation is, and with every credit card bill that you toss (unpaid) into the trash, your stress level is bound to increase. Your mental and physical health have undoubtedly begun to suffer due to a nearly constant feeling of worry
Some people are in this or a very similar situation due to a lack of information about debt resolution. Oftentimes, we talk to people who (falsely) believe that filing for bankruptcy is only an option if you're chronically unemployed and have essentially already lost everything, including your home. We are happy to rectify this misinformation!
If your income allows you to pay rent (or your mortgage) and feed your family but you have thousands of dollars of unpaid debt, you have a very solvable problem. Bankruptcy law focuses on helping struggling debtors just like you repay money and/or wipe out debts in order to get them back on track.
Don't assume that you wouldn't qualify for bankruptcy
just because you have maintained a place to live and haven't had your electricity shut off. If you have significant debts that you are simply unable to even make a dent in, bankruptcy is very likely a good option for you.
What if my job situation may improve in the near future?
First of all, congratulations on your perseverance! Secondly, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would focus on your financial situation at the time of filing
. If you successfully file for bankruptcy and subsequently obtain better employment or receive a raise, you don't have to worry about losing any of that
money to your bankruptcy trustee
With that being said, there are
strict laws in place that help prevent bankruptcy fraud
. For example, you cannot legally accept a large sum of money (for example an inheritance) within a year after filing for bankruptcy. Debtors are also prohibited from repaying only selective
lenders prior to filing for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This ensures that all of your creditors are paid back equally with none of them receiving preferential treatment.
However, as long as you are acting in good faith
, you have the right to accept a better job or even a pretty significant raise after your bankruptcy has been filed. After all, the primary goal of bankruptcy laws is to eradicate your debts and see you on your way to a brighter financial future.