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How to know when bankruptcy is the best option

Debt tends to creep up on a person little by little. It can begin with a student loan, a credit card, a financed furniture purchase, or the sudden death of a vehicle and the unplanned auto loan that follows. Many address their debt on a monthly basis, looking only at the minimum payment that will keep accounts in good standing. When a significant financial event disrupts one's budget, it quickly becomes apparent that debt relief is a necessity. For many in Arkansas, personal bankruptcy is the best possible tool to reach that goal.

One way to evaluate whether bankruptcy is the right choice is to make a comprehensive assessment of all income, assets and debt. Once a person's liabilities exceed his or her assets, a critical imbalance has been reached. At that point, repaying all outstanding obligations becomes a difficult prospect. Often, repayment is simply not possible.

Another sign that bankruptcy may be the best option is when a consumer has made an effort to work with creditors but has been unsuccessful. When creditors are unwilling to reduce interest rates, eliminate fees or forgive a portion of one's total balance owed, it may be time to look at more aggressive debt relief choices. Once bankruptcy has been initiated, the assigned trustee will assume responsibility for negotiating with creditors, which is often a welcome relief for the consumer.

For those in Arkansas who are facing a heavy debt load, it may be time to sit down and go over the numbers. Often, this process will shed a great deal of light on one's debt scenario, and it will become clear how to proceed. Personal bankruptcy is never a step that should be taken lightly, but for many consumers, it offers the best possible path back to financial stability.

Source: wisebread.com, "3 Times Bankruptcy Is the Right Move", Dan Rafter, Nov. 9, 2015

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