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Without relief, thousands of Arkansas jobless face fiscal cliffs

Financial distress can tend to create a feeling of being stuck in a black hole. It's not something anyone seeks to bring on themselves. Once it starts, the challenges created can seem to be insurmountable. One tough situation often leads to another.

As an example, consider the person who has suffered through a bout of long-term unemployment. There are thousands in Arkansas in just this situation. Despite their best efforts, they may be unable to land work. Missed car payments might result in the repossession of a vehicle, making it more difficult to conduct a viable job search.

Breaking the cycle, protecting one's assets, and obtaining debt relief may seem hopeless, but it doesn't have to be. Finding the appropriate solution for your given situation, including consideration of filing for bankruptcy, can be explored with an attorney's help.

This comes to mind now in the light of the fact that jobless benefits for some 1.3 million jobless Americans ended over this past weekend. Some projections forecast that another 3.6 million individuals will find themselves without unemployment benefits in the next six months unless Congress takes action.

A proposal for extending benefits temporarily is due for a vote in the Senate today, but there are doubts whether it can pass. Even if it does, there are many who say it stands little chance of clearing the Republican majority in the House.

Some observers say this bodes ill for Arkansas. The state's Department of Workforce Services notes that nearly 9,000 individuals saw unemployment run dry last Saturday. At least one forecast says individuals in the state will continue to see benefits disappear at a rate of about 700 each week over the next six months. That would translate into more than 18,000 people losing support.

Noting the unpredictability of action in Congress, it would only seem wise for those worried about their fiscal fates to explore all their legal options.

Source: Arkansas News, "Thousands of Arkansans’ benefits at stake in debate over jobless aid," John Lyon, Dec. 29, 2013

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