When the holidays come to an end, there can be a lot of emotion. You may be sad that the fun is over and bummed out that you have to get back to work. Perhaps you feel relieved to be done seeing certain relatives. Or you might be excited about plans for the new year, which could include losing the weight you just put on.
For many people, the new year is a time to evaluate and improve their finances, a stressful area of life for millions of Americans. It can be an opportune juncture for starting new budgets, making better spending choices and focusing on getting out of debt. For those who feel mired in debt and need relief, a bankruptcy filing may be something to think about.
Life happens to all of us
Almost everyone has some debt, but there are indicators that U.S. households have too much. With total consumer debt approaching $4 trillion and people owing an average of perhaps 26 percent of their annual income on that debt, according to a CNBC report, there may be a systemic problem.
Many people who feel overwhelmed by debt have experienced a difficult, expensive life event like a divorce, a job loss or a medical event. If your debt spiked to compensate for such an event, you may be able to get relief through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
Timing is important
It can make a big difference to file for bankruptcy at the right time. That best time can depend on a number of factors. A homeowner who is trying to stop a foreclosure should pay careful attention to timelines; so should a divorcing spouse who wants to make a clean break and keep as many assets as possible. For some people, the new year feels good because they have momentum to make changes and motivation to solve problems.
Get the help you need
Every financial situation is different. Bankruptcy is not appropriate for everyone who feels anxious about their debts. If you think an aptly filed bankruptcy could help you, sit down and speak with an experienced attorney about your circumstances.