Many people in Oregon are struggling with excessive credit card debt. The financial shock to the economy in 2008 did not make long-term changes to how people handle their finances, especially once people went back to work if unemployed and started to bring in larger paychecks. While household debt across the country declined between 2008 and 2013, it has gone up significantly since then to reach an all-time high of $13.2 trillion in the first quarter of 2018. With low interest rates, people are, on average, better able to manage debt, but unexpected changes can be devastating to a person’s ability to manage their finances.
In the 2008 recession, 1 out of every 10 credit cards entered default, and numerous homes were foreclosed upon around the country. Many forecasters expected that there would be a long-term shift in Americans’ relationship to borrowing, but credit card debt has grown as people have felt less financial fear and pressure. However, even credit cards form only one portion of the nation’s household debt. Student loan debt is larger across the country than that owed on credit cards as are auto loans.
All of this debt may seem sustainable while a person has a relatively high-earning job. A loss of income or unexpected medical bills, however, can make that debt overwhelming and difficult to repay. People may be faced with a mountain of debt that they are unable to surmount, receiving creditor collection calls and unable to make even the minimum payments on all of their outstanding debt.
When people are struggling with bills that they cannot pay, personal bankruptcy could be one solution to find debt relief and a new financial future. A bankruptcy lawyer may work with people facing insurmountable debt to seek a solution that might significantly reduce or eliminate many debts.