A serious debt problem can affect every area of your life. You may be consumed with anxiety about bills you can’t pay. You may feel hopeless and come across as angry and irritable with your spouse, children or other family members. You may be exhausted and unable to be your real self. These are normal responses to high stress that you can’t break on your own.
Many people wind up in a problematic debt situation because of an income loss, a divorce, an illness or injury, or another serious life event. Something needs to change if you feel trapped and your best efforts, over time, aren’t helping you regain control of your financial life. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing MAY be what you need if you see these signs.
1. Collection calls have become a dreaded part of your day
Is your phone blowing up with calls from aggressive debt collectors? Have you memorized their numbers so you can avoid them? Do you even answer your phone any more?
2. You keep trying to borrow your way out of debt
Balance transfers. Loan refinancing. Lines of credit. Home equity loans. These can be useful tools under the right circumstances, but if you’re using them to stave off debt that you know won’t go away, it’s time to consider a new game plan.
3. You’re legitimately worried about losing your house
If you’re always behind on your mortgage and you regularly receive scary, threatening letters from the bank, something is wrong. Your home is much more important than credit card debt, medical bills and other debts that can get in the way of timely mortgage payments.
4. You are skimping on necessities to pay credit cards, loans or medical bills
This is a serious but shockingly common problem for people in debt. If you’re paying a bank, credit card company or hospital corporation instead of buying food and other necessities, things need to change.
5. You’re using your retirement account to make debt payments
You need your 401 (k) money for your retirement more than the bank needs it. Get help.
Every situation is different
We can’t repeat this enough: No two debt scenarios are the same. Chapter 7 isn’t appropriate for every debt problem, but it is incredibly effective when used properly. Get the advice you need if you’re considering bankruptcy as a debt relief option.