Is Filing Bankruptcy in Your Future? Look for the Warning Signs

Over the last few years, a large number of Americans are having trouble making ends meet. Unemployment numbers are still above 8% nationwide and for those lucky ones that have a job they probably aren't making the money they use to make. The average income in the United States is down to about $36,000 a year. This is down about $10,000 from just a few years back. With the cost of living expenses on the rise and salaries diminishing, it's no surprise that many Americans are filing bankruptcy to eliminate their debt. Lately, for many people the has become a choice of whether to eat or to pay a credit card payment to keep the account open. Continuing to pay on the credit card account is kicking the can down the road a little bit further only to face the inevitable bankruptcy filing in the future.

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There are many warning signs to look for if you want to avoid filing bankruptcy at all cost. First, having the attitude that it will never happen to you will never fly. All you have to do is walk down your street in just about any city in the United States and you will find one in your neighbors losing their home to foreclosure or they might be in the process of filing bankruptcy. What used to be back street has now become main street. In the past, most people were ashamed of the inevitable bankruptcy filing and tried to hide it at all costs. Now it's become a topic at the local coffee shop as most people are finding out they might not have a choice. People should have the attitude of never say never as it just might happen to them.

The fastest way to see if you're in financial trouble and could be needing the expertise of the bankruptcy attorney, is to do a quick search of your liabilities and see if they exceed your income. It's pretty easy to jot down a list of all your debts and expenses, then figure out your net monthly income and see if you can afford to live the lifestyle you are keeping with that monthly income. If you cannot pay your debts without borrowing more money, you might need to call a bankruptcy attorney after all.

The next financial arena that should be looked at is the value of your debts versus your assets. Take all your debts and add them up. Next, add up all of your assets at a true value, you know one of where they could be liquidated quickly. If your debts total more than the value of your assets, there is a good chance that filing bankruptcy might the only way to get this in check.

Lastly, when a person is living with no savings at all and living paycheck-to- paycheck, all it will take is one small disaster to send their financial situation into a tailspin. What's crazy is, back in the 1960s just about every family had a savings account to fall back on. Today, people rely on their credit cards for rainy day disasters. Now when someone is an automobile accident or needs an emergency auto repair, they will just charge it if credit is still available to them. If it's getting this bad, a person she consult a bankruptcy attorney about their options. In these situations, it would be a rare occasion that a person could just change their monthly budgeting and pull themselves out of this hole. If it is a large amount of unsecured debt, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be their best option. On the other hand, if their house has become their albatross, filing Chapter 13 might just be what the doctor ordered. Either way it should be discussed with a bankruptcy attorney as everyone's situation is different.

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