Lately, there has been a rejuvenated interest in becoming debt-free. People are just getting sick and tired of turning on the television and seeing our government spending the country into oblivion. When the baby boomers were raised, they were taught the importance of being debt-free. Over the last 20 years Americans have spiraled into an abyss of consumer debt. The average American currently has about $16,000 in debt as of the end of 2011. As the economy continues to decline the debt ratios continue to increase, hard-working people are looking for a way to become debt free. The problem with the situation now is, it might be next to impossible without filing bankruptcy. Credit can be a wonderful thing if it is used in the proper way, once it is abused it can be like fire burning out of control destroying everything in its path. This is what is happening to the younger generation of the United States. According to a recent study, College students are graduating with $25,000 in debt. They haven’t even gotten a job yet and they’re already starting out upside down.
There are ways to become debt free with some that are easier than others. Filing bankruptcy is probably one of the easiest ways to become debt free in a short period of time. It depends heavily on the situation of the debtor though. The majority of the debt the individual filing bankruptcy is carrying needs to be unsecured. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out all unsecured debt including, credit cards, personal loans payday loans and medical bills. What it won’t discharge is secured debt. So if the debtor wants to become free from debt, they might need to make tough decisions if they have an automobile loan or other secured debts. I really don’t consider a mortgage as a debt but more of a household expense, because everyone needs to live somewhere and if you’re not making a house payment, you will have to pay rent. If the stars are aligned and the individual has all unsecured debt, they can be debt free in about four to six months with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. To get the maximum benefit from filing Chapter 7 one should consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney to help. Although, it is possible to file on your own, a bankruptcy attorney will make sure that the maximum amount of property is protected while wiping out all of the individual’s debt in the bankruptcy discharge.
The other ways someone can become debt free are Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debt settlement and just plain old stop charging on the credit cards while paying everything off and that is if the individual has the resources. All of these forms of debt elimination will be more costly and take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to accomplish. It really depends on how bad the individual’s financial situation has gotten. Before making any rash decisions, one should consult a bankruptcy attorney and see if filing bankruptcy will work for their situation.