23 percent of Americans consider bankruptcy

As tax-filing season nears, many Mississippians are probably taking a closer look at their financial situation. What they may not realize is that a significant percentage of Americans consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get debt relief because of their financial challenges.

A recent study focused in on the bankruptcy-filing population. According to its findings, roughly 23 percent of American households have thought about filing for bankruptcy. Of those surveyed, 18 percent actually carried out with the plan and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The study reveals some reasons people may be more or less inclined to file for bankruptcy. Often, those families who make less than $40,000 per year file for bankruptcy. They understand that bankruptcy can offer a fresh financial start. Nevertheless, others are skeptical, believing bankruptcy to be somewhat "shameful."

However, bankruptcy is in no way shameful. In the end, bankruptcy is a good debt relief solution for many Mississippi residents. With an understanding of the bankruptcy process and a plan in place, it can help individuals cope with overwhelming debt.

Meeting with a bankruptcy attorney can help clarify how to proceed. There are several different issues to consider. For instance, the Bankruptcy Code does not actually permit all debts to be discharged by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Certain debts will remain, such as alimony and student loans. Further, the Code places a limit on how often an individual can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- only once every several years.

These are just some hurdles, however. Looking at a person's larger financial picture, bankruptcy can offer significant relief. Working with a bankruptcy attorney may help Mississippians put plans into place to resolve these issues. For example, they may find ways to file for bankruptcy and work out payment plans for debts that are not discharged. Similarly, if a person considers filing for bankruptcy again, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an option.

Bankruptcy is a personal process. Only each Mississippian will know what works best for his or her financial situation.

Source: mainstreet.com, "One-Quarter of Americans have Considered Filing for Bankruptcy," Hal M. Bundrick, Feb. 26, 2014

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