If you are considering bankruptcy or have just filed, you are probably looking forward to exiting a dark time. Financial problems can happen to anyone-but no matter the level of accomplishment or income you may have achieved, people often feel embarrassed when they file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Hundreds of thousands of people file bankruptcies every year in the United States, often doing so after years of struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of living. And as you may have experienced, mild financial problems escalate quickly when an unexpected (and expensive) event occurs like the loss of a job, illness, divorce, and more.
You can probably relate to the ups and downs of trying to get by financially today. Millions of others around the US are feeling the stress of balancing the household budget also, especially as the cost of living continues to rise while wage increases for many either are insufficient or are completely nonexistent. The way we feel when we have a positive grip on our finances can be hard to describe-but the reverse can often be defined as disturbing, anxiety-inducing, and downright nightmarish. Much of this stems from feeling helpless-and you very well may be somewhat helpless to pay numerous bills, especially if you have been hit hard by a medical issue, unemployment, divorce, overwhelming student loan debt and more.
Like millions of others before you in the US, you may have decided to file bankruptcy due to an overwhelming amount of debt. You probably never expected to be in such a position, but life is full of surprises and unfortunately, they are not always good when it comes to finances. If you have been struggling with a torrent of medical bills after a car accident, the loss of your job, a difficult divorce, or maybe even all these events in the past few years, filing for bankruptcy may be the best solution.
The goal behind filing for bankruptcy is to pave a new financial path for yourself, free of debt. The stories behind bankruptcy vary, however, and are often the result of unexpected, even catastrophic events. And just because something happens once, unfortunately, does not mean it can't happen again.
Filing for bankruptcy is a major step, and probably not something you ever wanted to do. You may have been in a major accident, or you or a family member may have experienced an extended illness that resulted in insurmountable medical bills. Budgets may have been cut at work, or you may have found yourself out of a job altogether. Often, there are other accompanying factors too, like divorce, overuse of credit card due to lack of income, and more.
Are you overwhelmed with debt, having reached the point where you can barely pay for the essentials, much less satisfy pay your creditors? You may have been doing your best to cope with escalating financial distress for months now or even years, but have finally decided to explore bankruptcy as an option. While this may be the smartest solution for gaining firm control of your finances, it can also be a difficult decision to make.
Using credit cards and promptly paying off monthly balances is often touted as a smart and easy way to boost one's credit score. But life isn't that simple. A spouse may lose his or her job, a child's illness may require an unplanned trip to the ER or a furnace could break down in the middle of January. Many middle-class American families simply don't have sufficient savings to account for these types of unexpected financial hits.
Many New Jersey residents who are now in their 30s and 40s grew up in families that were considered to be middle to upper class. As such, many likely enjoyed taking family vacations, owned one or more cars and were able to attend and pay for college without accruing massive amounts of debt. Today, however, many of these same individuals are facing a very different reality as they attempt to provide the same standard of living they enjoyed to their own children.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 33 percent of Americans struggle to pay medical bills. No one is immune to medical debt and many of those who report having difficulty paying medical bills are insured through job-based group plans. However, even with health insurance coverage, individuals often fall victim to the unknown and high costs associated with out-of-network charges.