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Here’s the nasty thing about the compound interest on your credit cards, loans and mortgages: it multiplies your debt so quickly that it can be nearly impossible to keep up if you falter for even a brief moment. As your debts begin to pile up, so does your stress. You might try to transfer balances to credit cards with lower interest rates, refinance the home or take out loans to try to keep up, and it may work for a little while, but it’s only a stopgap.

Eventually, the debt gets out of hand and, in addition to your own stress about the situation, you’ve got creditors breathing down your neck and threatening legal action, leaving you with a hopeless feeling. You may stay up at night, wondering how you make payments. Your health and family life may suffer as the pressure builds. But what can be done if you don’t make enough to pay off the debt?

Some turn to debt management and consolidation companies, but many charge a substantial fee and make promises that they don’t keep. You know that letting the situation stagnate isn’t an option; that’s the best way to lose assets like your house.

You might wonder if there is any way out of the mess. What can you do if all these options are fraught with pitfalls? For many in your situation, Chapter 13 is the answer. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you formulate a plan to pay the debt in manageable chunks based on your current financial situation. Best of all, you can sometimes keep your assets and stop foreclosure.

Of course, bankruptcy is a major decision, and all the factors should be considered. Our Chapter 13 page can provide you with more information.