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Sometimes filing for bankruptcy is the best way out of debt

Advice columns in New Jersey and elsewhere recommend how to get out of debt. Unfortunately, many individuals' financial problems have gone beyond the otherwise good advice that many columnists provide, and bankruptcy may be the preferred way to responsibly deal with financial problems that have become unmanageable. Other consumers, however, find the advice helps them pay down or even eliminate their debt.

Some of the advice is relevant regardless of an individual consumer's financial situation. For instance, continuing to incur debt may not help an already precarious financial situation. Many columnists advise consumers to stop using credit cards and taking out loans of any kind -- especially while attempting to pay off debt. Instead, reviewing spending habits and cutting costs where possible is favored.

However, even after taking this advice, many consumers are still unable to pay more than the minimum, if anything at all, on their debts. Sometimes, nothing is left to cut out of the budget to apply toward paying bills. Many people in this situation are left wondering where to turn when none of the advice for paying down debt works.

When financial problems become intolerable, some New Jersey residents still shy away from filing for bankruptcy. However, the bankruptcy system exists to provide debt relief to individuals that are struggling financially. While bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing, all collection actions against a filer are halted. This provides much-needed breathing room for the filer to make decisions regarding his or her financial situation. Once the bankruptcy is finalized, the filer could receive a clean slate with which to start over financially.

Source:, Frugal Living Series Week 2: Getting out of debt, No author, Feb. 14, 2014

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