At some point, every adult struggles financially. Some may be fortunate to see the warning signs and make adjustments before things get out of hand. Others are not so lucky when bad choices catch up with them or unexpected expenses blindside them. It is likely that many people in Ohio and across the country are falling into the latter category as the uncertain times make jobs precarious and the fate of many businesses unpredictable.
You may know what it’s like to feel the pinch in your wallet, but perhaps you are starting to feel overwhelmed by your financial obligations. You are not alone if you are seeking relief from your debt burden. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that many people who file for bankruptcy have similar reasons.
How does debt take over?
Even if you have heard rumblings at your place of employment, the moment when you lose your job is usually a shock. Whether circumstances have forced your company to close temporarily or permanently, losing that paycheck can have a devastating effect on family finances. Most people do not have an emergency fund to carry them through these tough times, and creditors are not always willing to wait out such a crisis. However, job loss is only one event that can send your finances spiraling. Others include the following:
- Paying to repair or replace property damaged or lost in a disaster that your insurance does not fully cover
- Going through a divorce or separation that involves legal feels, separate housing, child support, asset division and other financial complications
- Over-using your credit cards for expenses that provide no long-term assets, such as to eat out or buy groceries
- Exhausting your home equity to pay for other expenses, which may place your house at risk of foreclosure
More than half of bankruptcies nationwide result from medical debt. Even when consumers have health insurance, it is not always enough to cover catastrophic injuries, chronic conditions or treatment for serious diseases like cancer. Paying prescription drug costs can add hundreds to a monthly budget, and many find they have depleted their savings, retirement or education funds when someone in the family gets sick.
As frustrating and desperate as it may feel to be facing the daily burden of overwhelming debt, you may be relieved to know that you have choices. Bankruptcy is one way to potentially eliminate some of your debt to create some breathing room for getting back on track. You may wish to begin by reaching out to a compassionate attorney who can help you explore the most appropriate course of action for your situation.