Driving along the road, radio on, your ears perk up when you hear the ads that promise to help you erase your debt in a matter of months.
You can't pay your credit card bill. There you said it.
You're having trouble breathing. Your chest hurts. Is it a heart attack? You don't take any chances and call 911.
It is always difficult to imagine hard times when things are going well. But when your finances are down and out, it's just as hard to imagine things ever improving. Fortunately, there are many ways out of dire straits before they ruin lives.
Debt is often an integral part of the American experience. People acquire capital through massive loans to buy a house, start a business or fulfill other life goals. Occasionally, debts can mount to the point that the principal and interest are unmanageable. Options in that situation include debt consolidation and bankruptcy.
Handling debt is hard enough, but it can be almost impossible when one sees debts piling up on top of each other with no relief in sight. When a person or business finds it is impossible to keep up with debts, it may be time to consider declaring bankruptcy.
Debt can hang around our necks like a stone, but it is always surmountable. Mild debt problems can often be solved with restructuring, and bankruptcy -- never an enjoyable prospect -- can actually help people return to financial health from under the pressure of creditors.
No one wants to think about the possibility of bankruptcy. The choice seems difficult at any time, so it is important to understand all the possible options for recovering from debt when it seems like they are limited.
Your wages are three-quarters what they were. You can't stand to look at your phone because creditors won't stop calling. You can't dream of owning or keeping a house as your credit score plummets every month.
Debt is a major problem for many Americans. Figures have been steadily rising to around $2.4 trillion currently owed by individuals. Only a third of this staggering amount is revolving debt, such as credit card debt, while the remainder is in loans for cars, houses and education.