No one intends to go into debt and not pay it off. Most people acquire debt in small amounts over time, always with the intention of paying it off in the future. Other times, people experience a catastrophic event, such as a medical emergency or a car crash, that leads to a sudden accumulation of major debt. Regardless of whether your situation is the result of one major problem or a slow trickle of credit card fees and financing costs, the reality of living with that is typically the same.
Once you fall behind on any account because you don't have enough money to make minimum payments, you will have to deal with collectors. Collection agents will start sending letters and making phone calls. They may call you at work or while you're sitting down to dinner with your family.
Dealing with them can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you don't have the ability to pay the debts that they are calling about. If you feel overwhelmed due to collection activity and can't see a way out of your situation, bankruptcy may be the best option for you.
There's no shame in admitting you need help
Although there is still a social stigma attached to bankruptcy, there is a reason that it exists. Life can be unpredictable, and people often don't understand what their financial circumstances will be in the future. Either they are too optimistic about their future income, or they fail to predict a future downturn in household revenue.
When debt becomes unmanageable compared to the household income, things can quickly spiral out of control. Payday loans and other emergency tactics may help someone in serious financial straits prolong their suffering. However, these solutions typically cause even more problems.
After all, incurring more debt is not usually the way to handle overwhelming debt. Getting rid of that debt is the only real solution, and bankruptcy is the only way to get rid of debt that you cannot pay for.
Bankruptcy protections put an end to collection activity
Whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or choose to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead, as soon as you file your initial paperwork with the district court, you will receive the benefit of an automatic stay. That state affects all attempts to collect on debts that you owe that could be covered under the bankruptcy.
In other words, you don't have to deal with any more letters or phone calls from collection agents. Threats of a potential lawsuit will also cease, as well as the initial stages of legal proceedings to hold you accountable for a debt in court. Your creditors will have the opportunity to appeal to the court regarding the discharge of your debt. However, in most cases, unsecured debts like credit card and medical debt wind up discharged in bankruptcy proceedings.
You shouldn't have to live your life in fear of your creditors. If you don't want to answer the door or pick up the phone because you worry about what might happen, it may be time to seriously consider bankruptcy.