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Could bankruptcy offer a fresh financial start in the new year?

The end of the year can be a brutal time financially. Holiday shopping can lead to a lot of credit card debt, as can throwing parties, hosting dinners or traveling to see loved ones, friends and family. Combine that with the end of the financial year and the reality check of filing your taxes, and the winter can be a time for harsh awakenings.

There's nothing quite as embarrassing as dealing with a creditor phone call when you have family visiting. Once you've gotten in over your head with credit card debt, medical debt or other financial obligations, fees and penalties start to add up.

That can you leave you in a hole that is always getting deeper. For those who can no longer pay off monthly debt or are struggling to make minimum payments, bankruptcy could offer a fresh financial start.

Bankruptcy can offer you a chance to regain control

Some people think of bankruptcy as the end of their financial lives. While having a bankruptcy on your record will impact your ability to obtain new credit for a decade after the date of your discharge, it may impact your overall credit-worthiness less than many delinquent accounts, collections issues and other red flags resulting from financial struggles.

Bankruptcy can put an end to creditor lawsuits and collections activity. It can allow you the time you need to prevent a foreclosure or help ensure that you don't fall behind in your rent or your mortgage payments. Depending on the kind of bankruptcy you qualify for, you may repay debts over a specific period of time or have many of your debts discharged by the courts.

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 offer immediate relief

When you're facing a lawsuit from a creditor, collections phone calls or an inability to meet your financial obligations, the stress can feel overwhelming. It may seem like everything you do only leads to worse issues, because paying one debt leaves another unpaid.

Filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides you with an automated stay, pending court proceedings. Creditors must stop collection attempts, ranging from phone calls to lawsuits for unpaid debts. For those with income below the Florida mean income, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help with a discharge of most unsecured debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers those with higher incomes the ability to restructure and pay off debts in a more sustainable fashion.

Bankruptcy can help you move past your crippling debt and start building for a more financially healthy future. Don't waste another year, season or month worrying about your ability to make ends meet. Tackle the debt at the root of the issue instead.

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