Our Louisville Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers know that sometimes, the only thing that keeps people from teetering over the brink is a small savings.
Even then, debt can be brutally cyclical.
Now, we learn that one out of four Americans has no savings whatsoever. These people are a single unexpected expense away from a potential financial disaster. Really, though, far too many of us have far too little saved — especially if you begin to subtract credit card debt and installment debt from that savings tally. It’s a reflection of the financial pressures being faced by the middle class.
In reality, far too many consumers in Louisville wait far too long before consulting a bankruptcy attorney. Taking charge of your financial future can stop the harassment of creditors and put you back in the driver’s seat.
A recent report by Bankrate.com indicates that only 25 percent of Americans have six-months’ earnings squirreled away. That’s the recommended amount to have for an emergency fund. That means the other 75 percent of us are also at risk for a financial crisis. All it would take would be a car accident, a divorce, a job loss – those life events and twists of fate – the ones that you don’t see coming or couldn’t have avoided even if you did.
Of course, there are preconceived notions that bankruptcy will somehow set you back. The truth is, it sets you free – free from the harassment of nasty creditors, free from the weight of those unpaid medical bills and free from the feeling that you’re on some kind of hamster wheel – always racing, and yet never really getting ahead.
The Bankrate report indicates that nearly 50 percent of us don’t even have enough to cover three months’ worth of expenses. And we’re actually doing worse with this than last year, when about 46 percent of us didn’t have that three-month finance cushion.
Those who don’t have any savings are also increasing. It went from about 24 percent last year to roughly 28 percent this year.
Senior financial analysts have been quoted in various media reports as saying that part of the problem is the stagnation of incomes. You’re not getting a raise, your benefits have been slashed and it’s not as if you have many options to go elsewhere. Even if you did, chances are the circumstances won’t be a whole lot better. There’s simply no chance to catch up.
Now factor in a bout of unemployment or the illness of you or a family member, and it’s no wonder we’re seeing an overall decline in savings.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lower the income the less the savings. People who earn more than $75,000 annually are a lot more likely (about 45 percent) to have six months-worth of savings. Only 9 percent of those in this income bracket say they have no savings.
Those who could use it the most, meanwhile, are far more likely not to have emergency cash on hand.
If you need to speak to a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney or Louisville foreclosure defense firm, contact the Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center at 866-270-4495 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
28% of Americans have no emergency savings, By Blake Ellis @CNNMoney
Many Americans have no emergency fund, BankRate.com