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Many Americans Worse Off Than Before the Recession, Says New Survey

Nearly seven years after the Great Recession reared its ugly head, a new economic report paints an unpleasant picture of American finances.

According to the Fed’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, 34 percent of survey participants are either" somewhat worse off" or "much worse off" financially than they were back in 2008 – and another 34 percent said their finances have remained the same.

One quarter said they were "just getting by,” while 13 percent admitted to struggling. More than one-third have no retirement savings, and 40 percent of working people over age 45 said they’ve had to push back their projected retirement dates.

So why are Americans’ finances still in such sorry shape? Chalk it up to a few factors.

The job market hasn’t rebounded, leaving many of us with fewer hours and lower wages than we’d like – and that’s only if we’re fortunate enough to still hold a steady job. A growing number of consumers carry student debt loads, oftentimes in the tens of thousands. Despite an improving real estate market, many of us are still overcome with mortgage debt. And the list goes on.

Consumer spending – one of the most important drivers of the economy – is down. Yet our debt loads keep going up. While some debt is good – allowing us to buy homes, purchase vehicles and go to college – having too much debt eventually spells trouble.

Keeping up on debt payments is only part of the problem. When money goes to paying off debt, it can’t go to other places – like building wealth. Until we solve our debt addiction, U.S. consumers are going to continue living paycheck to paycheck, limiting our ability to both spend and save.

The good news is that, for many people, bankruptcy can offer a fresh start by lowering or eliminating debt from credit cards, medical bills and more. For those who qualify for Chapter 7, complete debt discharge may be attainable in just a few short months. Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a repayment plan, but comes with the advantage of protection from foreclosure.

When you’ve spent years struggling to stay financially afloat, bankruptcy can be a breath of fresh air. Find out more about bankruptcy – and learn if there’s a bankruptcy plan right for you – when you contact our DebtStoppers bankruptcy attorneys. Call us or visit us online to schedule your free personal debt evaluation today.

Resources:

Fed Survey Shows Many Households Still Worse Off Than Before Recession: 24/7 Wall Street

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