Do you have multiple credit cards carrying balances on a monthly basis, many of which are close to or fully maxed out? Are you only making the minimum payments, or are you several months behind on your credit cards? Do you have more than 1 year’s salary in outstanding unsecured debt? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, bankruptcy may be the fresh start that you’ve needed for some time.
Many people have a negative image associated with filing for bankruptcy. This negativity is a product of our upbringing and the fact that almost no one will choose to share with a friend or co-worker that they have filed for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy is a necessary part of our society, and one that many people choose to pursue instead of living under the crushing pressure of large debt. While it is unlikely that anyone has ever shared with you that they’ve filed for bankruptcy, there were more than 6.8 million bankruptcies filed in the U.S. from 2008 to 2012. With an adult population of about 240 million in the U.S. in 2012, that means that about 1 in 35 people filed for bankruptcy during that period. While no one may have shared it with you, the odds are that you do know someone who has filed for bankruptcy. And while a bankruptcy is technically a publicly accessible record, most people do not know how to find out whether or not someone has filed for bankruptcy.
While there are a multitude of reasons why a bankruptcy filing makes sense, fear of being judged by friends and family should not be the ultimate reason for continuing to make payments on debt that you can never actually pay off. If you answered yes to any of the questions at the outset, an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can help educate you on the bankruptcy process and the options available to you.