What are the signs that it's finally time to file bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is intended to help honest debtors get a fresh start, but there is no hard and fast rule on who will benefit most from bankruptcy.  These are some of the warning signs that I look for when advising someone that it may be time to file bankruptcy.

You are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments. 

When someone is faced with mounting bills, some debtors will play a game I call the Credit Card Shuffle, randomly choosing which minimum payment to make based on how nasty the collection call will be.  Some debtors will even pay credit card bills before paying their rent or mortgage rather than face those harassing collection calls. This is simply wrong.  Your family’s food and shelter should take priority over credit card debt.


Are you losing sleep or constantly arguing with your spouse because of your debt problems?  Money problems are a leading cause of divorce.  Bankruptcy is not a cure-all, but it can help remove your financial problems as a source of difficulties and stress in your marriage.


I have seen far too many clients losing sleep and suffering stress‑related health problems because of their financial struggles.  A willingness to work multiple jobs or crazy overtime hours may be a sign of good character, but it can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and anxiety. Anxiety over debts can also lead to depression which can cause numerous health problems. Do not let bills cause you to suffer physical health problems.

Changes in your normal behavior. 

Are you considering doing something illegal to fix your debt problems or something that could put your health or the health of your family at risk?  Have you taken up gambling or drinking?  Are you doing things that are "out of character" for you?  These may be signs of desperation and it may be time to see an attorney.

The Balance Transfer Shuffle.

Are you constantly applying for new credit cards to take advantage of low balance transfer rates?  This may be a sign that you are in over your head in debt.

If any of these apply to you, call us today at 757-276-6555 to schedule your free no-obligation appointment with our experienced attorney. We will meet with you, analyze your situation and explain how bankruptcy can help you to regain control over your finances.

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Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney