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Don't wait until it's too late to learn about your bankruptcy options

Hard working people do everything they can to plan for a rainy day. When that day arrives, however, the money tucked away may not cover the rising living expenses for very long.

Cutting corners and going without non-essentials can only carry you so far. There may come a point when the money coming in simply won't allow you to pay the bills and maintain a reasonable standard of living. If this happens to you, you are not alone.

Southern states were hit hard during the recession, and bankruptcy rates rose to a national high. Louisiana has the 18th highest rate of personal bankruptcy filings in the nation.

Unexpected problems can cause your debts to rise higher than your income for a number of reasons, including:

Medical expenses

Medical debt is one of the top reasons people file personal bankruptcy. About 60 percent of filers do so because an illness or injury drained their finances and limited their ability to earn. Approximately 78 percent of these people had some type of health insurance too.

If you are sliding into debt due to health issues, consult a bankruptcy attorney about your options before all of your assets are exhausted. In Louisiana, medical bills may be discharged during the bankruptcy process.

Job loss

Layoffs, closing businesses and other reasons can stop that steady stream of income you have been relying on. Adding insult to injury, the loss of employment can trigger the loss of health care coverage: a recipe for financial disaster.

If you do not have a new job in the near future, you may want to get out in front of this situation by consulting with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy laws allow filers to keep certain assets, such as homes, tools, vehicles and personal items among others. However, the rules are complex and nothing is guaranteed. If you owe back mortgage payments, for example, the bank may be able to seize and sell your home. That's why the advice of an experienced attorney can prove invaluable.

Divorce

The dissolution of a marriage can create many difficult financial challenges. Meeting living expenses and paying child support or spousal maintenance can quickly exhaust a paycheck. On the other side, finding yourself as a single parent or preparing to start a new career can mean additional education or job training. In the end, those expenses you once shared with a spouse are yours alone and the former marital debt may not be manageable.

Bankruptcy can stop you from free falling further into debt. The Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy processes both have different pros and cons. Make an informed decision about which option is best for your financial situation by getting sound legal advice. Attorneys at Rowe Law Firm have the experience and skill you need to help you make a fresh financial start.

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