Are You in a Debt Crisis? Recognizing It is the First Step

There is a great deal of talk about the debt crises we face on a national scale and the seemingly never-ending scale back of government services as a result.
However, many Americans are enduring their own personal debt crisis. Even worse, many may not even realize it.

Our Louisville bankruptcy attorneys know that one of the greatest disservices many people do to themselves is waiting too long to seek help.

They struggle for months if not years trying to manage it all on their own. They work multiple jobs or pick up as much overtime as possible. They spread themselves so thin that they go without groceries or important medications. Surrendering means they have reached their breaking point – not just financially, but emotionally, and maybe even physically as well.

We firmly believe if you can recognize and act on the problems sooner, you can save yourself a world of trouble – and expedite your recovery.

Part of the problem is that people have such a reticence to consider bankruptcy because some still view it as a kind of failure. The truth of the matter is the recession hit a lot of people hard, even if the impact was indirect. Also, life happens. Divorce, serious illness, a death, a job layoff – these are not necessarily things that we expect to be forced to deal with. And yet cope we must.

What we want to offer here is a checklist of sorts. If you answer even two or three of these in the affirmative, it’s time to seek professional help.

Some of the key indicators of debt trouble include:

  • You aren’t sure how much you actually owe, and you are loathe to find out.
  • You are tapping into your credit cards in order to cover basic items, such as food, rent and gasoline.
  • You keep the true cost of purchases a secret from your spouse.
  • You have resorted to dipping into your retirement accounts to cover your monthly bills.
  • You frequently find yourself juggling bills. For example, you apply for one credit card and then use a cash advance to pay for an existing one.
  • You have to work overtime just to keep up with your credit card payments (or medical bills, student loans, etc.).
  • You are very close to reaching the maximum limit on each of your credit cards, or you have already maxed them out.
  • You are paying the minimum amounts required on those cards. In some cases, you are even paying less than the minimum.
  • Your income has decreased, but your credit card balances are going up.
  • You are using your credit cards not because they are convenient or because you are trying to boost your score, but because you have no other choice.
  • You are paying out more than you are bringing in almost every month.
  • You have just lost your job – or fear you will lose your job – and aren’t sure how you are going to keep up with your bills.

This list should give you a general idea of whether you are in trouble. There may be indicators not spelled out here.

The bottom line is if you are questioning whether your debt is a problem, it probably is. If it’s something over which you are losing sleep, don’t wait any longer to call us.

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.

Additional Resources:
15 signs of serious debt trouble, Oct. 20, 2008,
More Blog Entries:
Debt and Bankruptcy Considerations for Social Security Recipients, Aug. 5, 2013, Louisville Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Blog

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