Many Americans find themselves in this situation at some point in their lives: income is stagnant, bills are piling up and they are using one credit card to make the minimum payments on several others. Debts seem to be ever-growing, no matter what amount of payments are made. In a word, they are "underwater." They owe more than they make. People in this kind of situation, perhaps even some of our Escondido readers, will then ask themselves, "what now?"
As a recent article pointed out, there are a variety of ways that an individual or family can address a severely stressed financial situation. Some may be able to set out a budget, eliminate costs where it is possible and apply more of their income toward paying down their debt. Others will evaluate their situation and come to the realization that there simply aren't any good options. And that is when personal bankruptcy comes into play.
Obviously, no one ever deliberately sets out on a path that will lead to bankruptcy. The economic realities of the last several years, however, have seen millions of Americans using financial tools, such as credit cards, in ways they never envisioned that they would have to before. As a result, bankruptcy becomes perhaps a final option.
The good news is that bankruptcy is also a financial tool, intended for both individuals and businesses as a way toward establishing a fresh start. Everyone knows that recovering from a bankruptcy filing isn't easy and their credit will take a major hit, but lifting the weight of a burdensome debt load can be the first step in a complete reorganization of a person's financial outlook.
Source: AL.com, "Is bankruptcy ever a good idea?," Matt Becker, July 30, 2013