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Unmanageable debt: warning signs and courses of action

Not many people in Arkansas or elsewhere simply wake up one morning and note for the first time what are multiple and obvious symptoms of debt-related problems.

Put another way: Persons with unmanageable debt usually go through a process of incurring it, with symptoms of trouble along the way that are discernible to some degree.

Indeed, it is true that some customarily solvent individuals and families suddenly find themselves underwater owing to one or just a couple unforeseen and dramatic circumstances. An unexpected medical bill is one such example. A sudden job loss is another.

As noted by a recent media article on financial challenges, though, it is often the case that certain warning flags pop up as persons find themselves increasingly mired in debt. The consumer financial services group Bankrate notes some of those alerts, which centrally include these:

  • Juggling multiple credit cards to make payments, with balances progressively increasing overall
  • Bickering with a partner about money and debt
  • Paying bills late and not in full
  • Not saving any money to guard against unexpected liabilities
  • Siphoning from retirement funds to defray current expenses

For obvious reasons, all of those bullet points indicate issues that are clearly problematic. In addition to those, there are many other flashing alerts that readily signify growing financial problems. Those include constantly tapping equity from a home to pay for current expenses and being dinged by one or more banks for writing checks without having sufficient money in an account.

As Bankrate notes, it is probably a good idea in many instances for a person who is beginning to experience undue financial difficulties to seek out a nonprofit counseling service.

Conversely, when things have progressed to the point where liabilities clearly exceed assets and debt repayment becomes flatly impossible, it might be beneficial for a debtor to consult with a proven debt-relief attorney. Doing so can result in a clearer perspective and a sound strategy for legally responding to debt-related difficulties and securing a fresh financial start.

Source: Bankrate, "8 signs you're flirting with financial ruin," Claes Bell, undated

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