» » » » » When Budgeting Fails, Is It Time to Restart?

Most people have been taught from an early age to pay their debts. It is ingrained in children from an early age. This training makes for financially responsible adults, but these same responsible adults can get themselves into trouble when faced with a massive amount of debt they simply cannot pay. When you are considering draining your retirement account to pay off a credit card debt, it is time to stop and reassess. Yes, ideally every financial obligation could be met. You could sacrifice all of your luxuries and slowly dig yourself out of a mountain of debt, but sometimes that is just not possible. When this is the case, it is time to consider filing for bankruptcy.

When Budgeting Fails, Is It Time to Restart?
Bankruptcy carries with it a certain stigma in America. Those who file for bankruptcy are viewed as irresponsible or deadbeats, but in the current economic environment, it is often the only viable option. “Pride goeth before the fall” is an appropriate maxim to describe this kind of thinking. Being able to recognize and admit the mistakes you have made and that you are in over your head are the first steps to digging yourself out of a bad situation. If you are constantly borrowing from one creditor to pay another, you are only making the situation worse. If you cannot reasonably pay down your consumer debt and the accompanying interest in five years, you are in over your head. It is time to consider filing for bankruptcy.

If you have a regular income but are unable to meet your financial obligations at this time, chapter 13 bankruptcy might be your best option. Unlike chapter 7, those who file for chapter 13 bankruptcies are allowed to keep their assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a court ordered restructuring of debts. This process can stop the foreclosure and repossession processes. In fact, it is designed to stop all collection efforts by your creditors. This means those seven o’clock phone calls threatening wage garnishment also stop.

In order to claim bankruptcy, a bankruptcy petition must be filed. This normally results in the courts issuing an automatic stay, stopping all collection efforts and foreclosure or repossession proceedings. A notice is sent to call creditors, and a trustee is assigned to the case. Within 15 days of the filing of the bankruptcy petition, a commencement of case notification will be sent to all parties. The creditors will meet and file any claims or objections they might have. The court will then prioritize the petitioner’s debts and determine a suitable plan based on expense-to-income ratio to repay the debt. This plan will cover a period of 36 to 60 months. During that time, the petitioner will be expected to make timely payments. If all payments are made on schedule, there is a possibility all remaining unsecured debt will be discharged at the end of repayment plan.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not a way to run out on your obligations. It is a way to make paying those obligations manageable. Forget the stigma attached to bankruptcy. You are not a deadbeat. You just need an opportunity to repay your debt without the fear of losing your home or means of getting to work. Sometimes, bankruptcy is the first step towards becoming financially responsible.

About Denny Jones

Hi there! I am Denny, a personal finance blogger and I love to share tips related to managing finance for a better living. Follow my blog for lots of fresh and exciting tactics to control your finances.
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  1. i have to disagree with your comments about bankruptcy. It still has a stigma attached to it, and just like a credit report can prevent a person from getting a job. It should always be a last resort.

  2. Whether bankruptcy is the right answer depends on individual circumstances. If there is no other viable option it can help a person from facing a civil lawsuit from creditors.

  3. If budgeting fails, you need to gain more control over your spending. You should not use bankruptcy as a means to get rid of bills you simply failed to pay.

  4. I just want to inform that if you file bankruptcy You will also be required to give up any assets of value and you may also lose the financial interest in your home. Any spare income you may have can be used to pay your bankruptcy debts. So seeking and financial advice or having attorney would be great for what action you what to do.