According to Business Insider, the average American has about $51,900 worth of debt and it is increasing each year.[1] These things include credit cards, houses, student loans, and cars. As Americans continue to live and buy the things needed to survive, many continue to find more and more debt as they walk that journey. CNN Business reported that about 1 in 5 American families who make $41,200 or less have what’s considered a hefty debt burden — defined as more than 40% debt-to-income load.[2]  That mostly includes the poor and middle class, which makes up 90% of America. Id.

However, as we try to continue to climb the financial and social ladder, this debt becomes a burden. It’s an endless cycle that we can stay in if we are not aware of our options. If you feel like this is you, it’s okay because many of Americans are in the same boat. However, it is not a boat that you necessarily have to stay in.

When thinking about how to dissolve your debts, you generally have the option of working out your debt with your creditor. However, if that is not an option for you, filing for bankruptcy may be an option that you can explore.

The two main types of bankruptcy that people normally file are chapter seven and chapter thirteen. Chapter seven bankruptcy is the simplest way to file and it is the fastest. The process typically takes six to nine months from start to finish. However, this is for the consumer that typically has less than six figures of debt. Chapter thirteen bankruptcy is a little more complicated, for it is for the more complicated consumer. This person has typically has about six figures worth of noncontingent, liquidated, unsecured debts and can have up to about $1.1. million in secure debts. This process typically takes about three to five years.  The type of debt that is typically discharged can include credit card debt, medical bills, payday loans, deficiency judgments on repossession and foreclosures, old phone bills, and possibly student loan debt

If you are considering whether you should file for bankruptcy, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation to explore which option may be best for you. Don’t let debt continue to impede the life you worked hard to live.

[1] Knueven, Liz. “The Average American Debt by Type, Age, and State.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 22 Aug. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/average-american-debt.

[2] But here’s the catch: a lot of America still is massively in debt. “America’s Poor Are Still Heavily in Debt.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, money.cnn.com/2015/12/01/news/economy/america-poor-in-debt/index.html.