You know you have debt problems, but how bad are they? You don't want to file for bankruptcy too quickly, but you also don't want to put it off too long. After all, you could be facing issues like wage garnishment. Every extra month that this garnishment goes on is more money that you lose.
So, how do you know that it's time to file? Here are a few signs to look for:
1. Wage garnishment
First and foremost, wage garnishment itself is a classic sign that bankruptcy may be your only option. After all, you have an income. They're garnishing your wages to get the money you owe them. Would it be better for you to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and set up a repayment plan based on your specific income? It is clear that something needs to happen.
2. Missed mortgage payments
For most people, the mortgage is the last thing you fail to pay when your debt gets too extensive. You need your home for your family. It's easier to skip utility payments or credit card payments. It can still cause you financial problems, but you have a roof over your head. When you start missing mortgage payments and foreclosure becomes a reality, you have reached a new type of debt.
3. Debt collectors
Many companies do not make much effort to get you to pay up on their own. They are not set up for it and they have other things to do. What they do instead is to sell your debt to a collections company. They get much of what they owe, but not all of it, and the debt collectors then start calling you. They now have the rights to your debt. When this happens, you know you have missed a significant amount of payments.
4. You're honestly trying to pay it off
A lot of people complain about debt without really making an effort to eliminate it. They still spend a lot on things they don't need. They still make poor financial decisions and live without a budget. If you have honestly taken steps to pay off what you owe, such as drafting a budget and eliminating all expenses that don't appear absolutely necessary, and you still cannot pay off that debt, it's a sign that you may need to take more drastic action.
If you start seeing these signs in your own life, it's critical that you know what options you have and what steps you can take. You need to plan for your future and figure out what is going to be best for you and your family.