Those who follow financial news know that the nation as a whole is facing significant personal debts, from student loans to underwater mortgages to credit card debts. Although the economic recovery has slowly been helping to get people back to work and in control of their debts, many are still struggling to manage all of their competing financial obligations. Many South Florida residents are working hard to rebuild their finances, even though they may not have the same resources that they did prior to the recession.

There are many ways to manage debt so that it does not become overwhelming. Using online tools or budgeting software to help efficiently allocate funds can often help people realize where they are spending extra money that may be used to pay down excess balances on a credit card. Tracking spending over time can also help establish more sustainable spending habits, helping to reduce accumulation of debt in the future.

Another way to get control of debt is to file for personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is available for people who are in significant debt and are not making enough income to pay it off in the foreseeable future. Borrowers may file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, which each have different requirements and a different process associated with resolving past due debts. Filing for personal bankruptcy can help give people who are in serious financial distress the fresh start that they need to get their finances back on track and end the stressful experience of trying to negotiate individually with creditors.

Source: News.com.au, “Coming back from debt,” Anthony Keane, April 1, 2013.