Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Are my 401k and IRA protected in bankruptcy?”
This is a new year, and no time beats the present when it comes to throwing the lasso round out-of-control debts.
How do you know when your debts have spiraled out of control? One expert, writing in the Orange County, California Register, has devised a simple equation you can use to determine whether you have too much debt: Pretend you don’t have to make a mortgage or rent payment for the next year. With the money you have and the money you will save on rent or mortgage payments, can you pay off your debts? If the answer is no, you probably do not have a firm handle on your finances.
Other telltale signs of an impending personal financial crisis include a reliance on credit cards to pay for every day expenses, payment of only minimums due each month on credit cards, late or missed payments on credit cards, taking out new loans or credit cards to pay off old ones, or taking on a second (or third) job just to keep up with your current obligations.
If you have done the math and you are drowning in debt, the first, crucial step is to be honest about how much you owe and whether there is any reasonable likelihood that you can ever repay your debts. The best practice, of course, is to not fall into credit-card trouble in the first place—that is, you should always pay your credit card balances in full, every month.