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Filing Bankruptcy: Part With Credit Card Debt

Buried in Credit Card Debt? What Are Your Options?

Credit card debt is one of the most common types of debt in the United States next to mortgage and student loan debts. As of September 2014, the average household credit card debt in the US (those with outstanding credit card debts) is about $15,607.

While these are large numbers, they are still manageable for those with stable employment but what happens if your credit card goes way beyond manageable numbers?

Many people have succumbed to bankruptcy because they owe more than they have or more than they earn in a year. This is why people are advised to use their credit cards responsibly. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

While no one wants to admit that they owe more than they can manage, if you have a large amount of credit card debt, there’s nothing else you can do but to look for ways to fix it before interest charges spiral out of control. If you have more credit card debt that you can manage it may be a good idea to speak to a local bankruptcy lawyer. Before that though, it may be a good idea to get acquainted with some of the legal options relating to debt & bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you only have credit card debt, one option is to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you declare chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets will be liquidated to pay off your creditors with the exception of some exempt property.

It is worth noting, however, that chapter 7 only takes care of unsecured debt like credit card debts, utility bills, and medical bills. These debts will be discharged if you file chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you have other types of debt like mortgage debts and car loans, chapter 7 might not be a suitable option for you because this type of bankruptcy does not discharge secured debt liens.

To be eligible for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to pass a means test to determine if your income is not enough to cover your debts.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

This is a suitable option for people with credit card debt and other types of debt. Chapter 13 does not involve liquidation of your assets, but rather a restructuring and consolidation of your current debt. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to restructure your debt and come up with a payment plan and timeline that will allow you to settle all your debts within reasonable means.

However, to be eligible for chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to pass certain parameters (more than $1,149,525 of secured debt and $383.175 of unsecured debt).

Debt Settlement Plans

Since bankruptcy can significantly ruin your credit score, it is not to be taken lightly. Before considering bankruptcy, you should try to work out a repayment plan with your creditor. If you have significant debt and working out a repayment plan on your own is not an option, you can look through other debt settlement options like signing up for a debt settlement plan with an accredited firm. The firm will help you negotiate with your creditors and will help you assess your monthly income and finances so you can come up with a feasible plan to pay off your debt every month.

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