Many Americans are struggling to pay their bills, even those who are high income-earners.  However, the thought of filing for bankruptcy could be anxiety-inducing. Many people assume that they will have to give up complete control of their finances and may lose their homes, vehicles, and cell phones. If you are swimming in a pile of debt, constantly stressed about money, and have creditors harassing you, filing for bankruptcy could help. If you have experienced any of the signs below, it may be time for you to consider filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can help you achieve the fresh financial start you need.

1. You Have Spent Your Savings:

Have you already spent all of your savings on your household expenses and bills? Now that you have spent your savings, are you worried about how you will pay bills in the future? If so, it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy.

2. You are Dependent on Using Credit Cards:

If you have been relying on your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses, such as groceries and gas, instead of using your debit card or cash, it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy. Additionally, if you continue taking out more credit cards to pay your expenses but you cannot pay your current credit card bills, bankruptcy could be a valid option.

3. There is a Life Event That Has Caused You to Struggle Financially:

Many bankruptcy filers experience a major life event that disrupts their financial situation. These types of Life events can include divorce, job loss, a death in the family, a medical condition that leads to time off of work, and other major events. There is usually a reason that people lose control over their finances. It is true that in some cases, people simply spend too much money and max out their credit cards. In most cases, a serious illness or death leads them to become unable to pay their medical bills and other expenses.

4. You Do Not Open Your Mail:

You have stopped opening your mail because you are worried about another harassing letter from a creditor or a bill that you cannot pay.

5. You are Using Loans to Pay Off Bills:

You have already taken out additional credit cards to pay your monthly expenses, and now you have borrowed money from relatives or friends or taken out a high-interest loan to try to pay your bills.

6. Creditors Keep Harassing You:

Being harassed by creditors can be one of the most stressful aspects of financial instability. Creditors are required to follow certain federal guidelines when discussing debt with debtors. Unfortunately, many creditors do not follow these guidelines and continue to threaten and harass people at work and at home. If you are being harassed by creditors and it makes you unwilling to answer your home phone, work phone, or cell phone because you are anxious that they are calling you, filing for bankruptcy can help you. As soon as you file a petition for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will issue an automatic stay on creditors contacting you. They will not be able to continue contacting you about debt.

7. You are Behind on Your Rent or Mortgage Payments:

The thought of losing an apartment or home due to missed payments can put a tremendous amount of stress on an individual. If you are behind on your rent or mortgage payments because you cannot pay your bills, you are probably concerned that you will be evicted or that your home will be foreclosed upon. You may assume that your lender will be lenient to you because you have been in an emergency or because you have been a tenant for a long time. Unfortunately, these reasons will not prevent your landlord or lender from foreclosing on your home. 

8. You are Considering a Debt Consolidation Loan:

Filing for bankruptcy has a stigma attached to it. Sometimes people assume that taking out a debt consolidation loan is preferable to filing for bankruptcy. Getting help from a debt management company can create negative effects. Many debt management companies will take a significant portion of your payment as their fee. You will end up not paying your creditors very much each month. Paying off your debt through a debt consolidation loan can take an extremely long time. An attorney can help you negotiate with your creditors and consider other options that do not involve high interest loans that will be difficult for you to pay back, including bankruptcy. 

9. Your Money Issues are Causing You to Lose Sleep and Suffer Extreme Anxiety:

Financial trouble can cause extreme anxiety. The thought of losing your vehicle or home can make you anxious and unable to sleep. Perhaps you cannot sleep because you are constantly staying awake and thinking about your money problems. During the day, you may be walking on eggshells because you are afraid that creditors will call you and harass you. Perhaps you are worried about how you would tell your children that you may need to move or that there will not be any birthday or Christmas presents this year. If these types of thoughts continue plaguing you, it may be time for you to consider filing for bankruptcy.

10. Your Bills are Completely Out of Control:

Are your bills continuing to pile up? Do you avoid checking your mail because you do not want to see new credit card bills that you cannot pay? Have you completely given up trying to keep up with your bills because you are overwhelmed and stressed? If your bills continue to escalate out of control and you do not know how you will pay them off or which ones you can afford to miss for a month, it is time to reach out to a bankruptcy attorney. Filing for bankruptcy will give you the time you need to make an action plan for your new financial future.