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National bankruptcy trends

Bankruptcy has been a serious concern throughout the nation, especially in the years following the 2007 recession. While the rate of filings has finally begun to decline on a national scale, the greatest levels have been recorded in states in the South. Texas residents considering bankruptcy may not be concerned with national statistics, but they may want to evaluate the personal benefits and challenges related to proceeding with this action.

Bankruptcy is often viewed as a last resort for addressing personal finances that have become unmanageable. Chapter 7 is the most common option for personal bankruptcy, which allows for many types of debt to be discharged. However, it is important to understand that state laws can affect one's assets. In some of the states experiencing high levels of bankruptcy, many assets can be seized by creditors to satisfy some of a debtor's obligations. The long-term impact can also be significant. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain financing in the form of loans or credit cards after going through bankruptcy.

Although there are some negative implications, the benefits of bankruptcy can outweigh the difficulties for those dealing with significant setbacks. A medical condition, for example, could lead to extensive bills. Meanwhile, one's ability to earn a living could be severely limited because of medical problems. Bankruptcy could be the only way to put an end to medical bill collectors' calls. The loss of a job is another example of a life event that could create a downward spiral in one's finances.

Legal counsel can be helpful in determining whether bankruptcy will actually accomplish one's goals in eradicating or reorganizing debt. A bankruptcy lawyer may also provide a referral for the financial counseling required prior to filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

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