Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney Vincent Howard understands that when the economy is rough, there is a temptation to simply swipe a credit card in an effort to maintain your status quo lifestyle.
However, it doesn't take long before those credit card debts spiral out of control.
A Los Angeles bankruptcy can help.
To get an idea of the scope of credit card debt nationwide, take a look at recent figures published by The Los Angeles Times:
In March, U.S. Consumers racked up $21.4 billion in total debt. That is in a single month, and it's the highest it's been in several months and the largest since the fall of 2001.
In fact, the Federal Reserve reports that the number has risen for the seventh straight month.
Now, credit cards alone accounted for more than $5 billion. Then you factor in auto loans and student loans, which rose more than $16 billion during that same time frame.
That means that the total amount of U.S. debt, as it stands to today, is at more than $2.5 trillion. It's difficult for many to wrap their minds around such astronomical figures, but the point is a lot of Americans are borrowing a lot of money.
Economists tend to think this is positive for the economy, as it means more people are feeling comfortable and confident in accepting a greater amount of debt.
And it's true that even for those with poor credit, having a credit card - and using it responsibly - can help you repair the damage.
The problem is that it's far too easy to take on more debt than what you can reasonably handle. That's what ultimately leads people to seek out their options, including bankruptcy.
Now a lot of people consider a bankruptcy a last resort. For some people, it is.
However, it's important to note that seeking help before you're desperate can save you a lot of time and headaches. L.A. Bankruptcy Attorney Vincent Howard can help.
There are two different kinds of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The first allows liquidation of all assets, although it may exclude cars, work tools or household furnishings. In a Chapter 13 filing, a person with a steady income will be able to work through a payment plan and will likely be able to keep most of his or her property.
When it comes to credit card debt, here are some signs that you may need to seek bankruptcy help:
- You spend more than 15 percent of your income on paying back your credit cards.
- You have to move money around to cover the credit card payments.
- You have to borrow money from your card to pay other bills.
- You are digging into your savings just to pay your bills.
- You are only able to make the minimum payment each month.
- Your credit cards are maxed out.
If you're being harassed by debt collectors who have lied, bothered third parties, called at odd hours or broken other provisions of the FDCPA, don't hesitate to call Vincent Howard and the Los Angeles bankruptcy team at HOWARD LAW for help. You can send us an email or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.