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Personal Bankruptcies Surge in 2014 As Consumers Struggle with Rising Costs, Falling Incomes

Are tough economic times really over? Recent bankruptcy statistics seem to indicate otherwise.

Personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are up a whopping 30 percent over last year, according to a recent study by the National Bankruptcy Research Center. Financial experts point to increasing debt, declining home values and a rise in overall living costs as primary causes.

In many instances, lost income from a wage reduction, layoff or flailing small business makes it impossible for Americans to keep up with increasing everyday expenses. When debts become unmanageable, bankruptcy is often the most realistic escape.

Perhaps the only good news is that the increase in bankruptcy cases is helping to dispel the old stereotype of bankruptcy filers as irresponsible spenders.

In the past, many folks have avoided filing – and thus failed to receive much-needed debt relief – because of the negative stigma associated with bankruptcy. These days, the majority of people who file bankruptcy are hard-working middle-class Americans with jobs, families and – in many cases – homes. Chances are that you have neighbors, co-workers and even family members who have filed – and found financial freedom as a result.

No one plans to fall behind on obligations such as car loans and home mortgages. Often times, the inability to pay creeps up on you slowly. By the time you realize you’re in over your head, you already have loan payments, credit card and medical bills and a myriad of everyday expenses from utilities to groceries. And failing to do anything about the situation only makes things worse, leading to creditor harassment and lawsuits, wage garnishment, and foreclosure or repossession.

Far from being an easy way out, bankruptcy may be the most responsible decision you make for you and your family. When you truly cannot afford to pay your debts, filing for bankruptcy can provide a fresh financial start by either eliminating debt entirely in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or allowing you to make reasonable monthly payments to creditors – and stop foreclosure – under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.

If you’re considering bankruptcy, you’re not alone. Financial experts anticipate bankruptcy cases will continue to increase, eventually reaching 1.1 million or more this year.

If you’re drowning in debt, don’t put off seeking help. By discussing your debt situation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer such as the attorneys at DebtStoppers, you can determine if bankruptcy is your ticket to financial freedom. Should you decide bankruptcy is right for your family, we can help you maximize the assets you keep – and the debts you eliminate. Contact DebtStoppers to schedule your free one-on-one personal debt analysis today.

Resources:

Personal Bankruptcy Filings Up 30 Percent: NBC Nightly News

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