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Bankruptcy Warning Signs: Am I in Trouble?

Most people do not realize that they are under threat until they hit bankruptcy. Suddenly, they have no money, piling debts, and threatening calls to tend to. Here are bankruptcy warning signs to look out for:

Missing Payments

This is the number one sign that you should look out for. If you are unable to meet the deadline for your bills and they are overdue, this means that your debt has started to become excessive. What’s even more stressful is when you cannot meet obligations, including mortgage, auto-loan payments, or electricity bills. Credit card bills also tend to pile up. If you find yourself struggling to may even the most basic monthly payments, it’s time to take a step back to assess your expenses and income.

Debt Management is Not an Option

Some companies or non-profit workgroups help you manage your bills by prioritizing necessary payments, putting them in order, and contacting creditors to ask for some relief. Some people who struggle with meeting their monthly budget opt for credit counseling. However, to qualify for these programs, you must have your own assets or steady income. Without these, enrolling is not an option.

No More Home-Equity Option

Home-equity loans are taken to pay off debts, such as credit-card bills that come with high-interest rates. If you want to learn to manage your expenses, the trick is to pay off your credit card debt and not exceed your limit again. If you do not manage to clear your debts even after using the home-equity option, you may be in more trouble than you can imagine.

Debt Collectors Keep Calling

If you are constantly getting threatening calls or demanding letters from debt collectors, consider this a red flag. You will usually get to this point if you haven’t paid off your debt for 30 to 90 days. You might also start to get notices that an over-due account is being reported on your credit report or is being charged off as uncollectable.

Your Credit Cards Are Maxed Out

Oops! Another red flag! This is one of the key bankruptcy tipping points. If you have run up the maximum limit of your credit card, you have hit a wall. You can no longer spend any more from your card; neither will you be able to gain approval for other kinds of loans. Moreover, if you rely on your credit cards to cover basic expenses, such as home groceries or petrol, you’re in trouble as your income should cover these costs.

Major Financial Setback

According to a study by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), most people do not have an emergency cash reserve kept aside for special situations. In fact, the study showed that approximately two out of five Americans could not even gather $2000 within a month’s time. Hence, big expenses, such as a hefty medical bill, divorce, job loss, or other significant expenses, can push people to the brink of bankruptcy. That is why it is always better to plan beforehand and be prepared for any calamity to strike. If any of these signs seem familiar to you, it is safe to assume that you are in trouble. Ease up on your expenses and contact a professional team to guide you through the relevant process.