The Upside Down

“If you are debt free and got $10 in your pocket, you are already wealthier than 25% of Americans.” ― Celso Cukierkorn.

Budgeting is harder than it seems. It is especially hard if you have recently been laid off, experienced a cut in hours, or have a medical condition. Simply put, you can’t budget around ill health or job loss. And yet in my experience practicing bankruptcy law, those are the very issues that most people who come to see me have suffered through.

During a layoff or when faced with illness, people often rely on credit cards and high interest loans. This kind of debt is frustrating because the high interest makes it almost impossible to pay off. Meanwhile, the corporations continue to pile on late fees and penalties to the debt. You may get behind in car or mortgage payments. It’s not long before you are living with a budget that is upside down.

The Upside Down is a scary place to live. Believe me I have been there. The longest road becomes your own driveway because every time you walk to the mailbox there is another bill you don’t have the money to pay. You become afraid to answer your own phone for all the creditors that call. Anxiety and depression walk hand in hand with you when you are living in the Upside Down.

For most people, there is something that can be done. Bankruptcy will stop the creditor calls and letters. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to catch up on mortgage payments and restructure car loans. Both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 can eliminate credit card debt and unsecured loans for people who are eligible.

Bankruptcy isn’t for everyone but it may be right for you. If you feel like your budget is upside down, you owe it to yourself to find out what bankruptcy can do.

-fueled by Hazelnut Crème coffee. When fully caffeinated, Charles Farrell Jr. can be reached at 229-474-6742 or at [email protected]

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