Neighbors Arguments Spawn Bankruptcy Discussion

I just recently lost neighbors because of the sluggish economy. The family moved here from another state because the husband had lost a good paying job he held for more than 10 years, and he couldn’t come close to replacing the income. As a result, they were forced into bankruptcy and moved here to live with the wife’s Mother. After three years of being supported by the Mother and the husband’s salary, which was less than half of what he used to make in the other state, and after taking on two teenaged relatives that were homeless, the Mother of the wife decides to move out and leave the new family of four. The wife then developed an unexpected illness, and the hospital bills were more than the family could sustain, so they looked for cheaper places to live. They were good neighbors, and even though they fought between each other over their financial condition, I could tell they had a lot of love to help them sustain their lives in their current financial state of affairs.

According to a recent article posted by Reuters on May 5, 2011 and on the Fox Business The Power to Prosper website, “the percentage of people who report that discussions about household finances turn into arguments some or all of the time has risen to 61% from 45% over the last year. Among young professionals under age 30, that number rises to 70%.” With current statistics showing an improving housing market, moderating credit card defaults, a strong stock market and other economic positives suggesting household finances are on firmer footing than they were a year ago, you might think those facts would pave the way for fewer money arguments, not more of them.

The truth of the matter is the reality of the recession is just hitting home to many of us. Like my neighbor, many are now employed but have had to take jobs of underemployment, barely scratching a living that they are unaccustomed. The neighbor shared with me they used to be a part of the middle class, but now he felt they lived from paycheck to paycheck. Since he had already filed for bankruptcy, he is now at the mercy of the economy and their new medical creditors. In all of that, the couple still reached out to two teenaged relatives to give them shelter when they had none. The added pressure of two new mouths to feed, new medical bills, a loss of lifestyle once enjoyed, and less income to make life’s ends meet are all good reasons why couples may argue over money.

Just because the economy shows signs of recovery is not really an indication or guarantee of recovery by all. Like so many recent recessions before it, whatever emerges from the current recession, the new economy will not quiet be the same. Outsourcing, leaner businesses, tight money, and changed laws favoring creditors will all have its toll on the middle class like my former neighbors.

Arguments over household money matters are simply a symptom of stress related to your overall financial condition. If arguments over finances are dominating your life, then it may be time for you to look into the possibility of being bankrupt. Becoming bankrupt is a black and white experience much more than it is a gray one. As a general rule of thumb, you are completely financially bankrupt if your current sustainable income plus any cash reserves will not pay all of your living expenses, pay interest on outstanding loans, and reduce some of your principal on those loans while paying on them for five years. Depending on which state you live, the formula should not include any of your retirement moneys as cash reserves. Paying off debts for five years is chosen because five years is the maximum legal number of years a United States Bankruptcy Court allows an individual to work their way out of bankruptcy protection.

If you are bankrupt, common sense indicates you will need a bankruptcy lawyer in order to properly understand how complex bankruptcy laws may apply in your situation. If you determine you are in need of relief from the stress associated with debt and you live in or around the metropolitan area of Springfield, Massachusetts, contact us here today at .We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area that will help you with any questions you may have on bankruptcy law.

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