According to 2015 national statistics, the average U.S. household is carrying roughly $133,000 in debt. For households that have debt related to credit cards, auto loans, student loans and mortgage loans, here's a breakdown of the average household amount.
- Credit card debt = $16,000
- Auto loans = $28,000
- Mortgage loans = $172,000
- Student loans = $49,000
For even a two-income household, the monthly payments associated with these types of debts can be burdensome. In cases where an individual suffers a job loss, is hospitalized due to an injury or illness or goes through a divorce; paying even the minimum monthly amount may be difficult.
When debt problems start to become truly overwhelming and unmanageable, it's important to address them as quickly as possible. While most people who live in and around Medina know about bankruptcy, many people struggle with questions related to whether or not they should file and, if so, which type they should file for.
Should You File For Bankruptcy?
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to file for bankruptcy is a highly personal one that should be made only after careful consideration and after consulting with a seasoned bankruptcy and debt resolution attorney. For individuals who are contemplating whether or not their debt problems warrant a bankruptcy filing, the following are five key indicators that bankruptcy may be your best option for eliminating or making debts more manageable.
- Your debts total more than 50 percent of your annual income
- The majority of your debts are unsecured (i.e. credit card and medical bills)
- You are being harassed by creditors or are the subject of lawsuits or judgments filed by creditors
- You are only able to pay minimum monthly payments, which equates to almost nothing towards your debt principal
Your debt problems are negatively impacting your mental and physical health and relationships with loved ones
What Are Your Options?
If you answered yes to the majority of the key indicators listed above, it's time to contact a bankruptcy attorney. An attorney can answer your questions, review your specific situation and provide information about your options. Depending on your income, the types of debts you owe and your personal bankruptcy goals; you may decide to move forward and file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.