There’s never a “good” time to hold a lot of debt, but recent economic trends indicate that soon it may get even harder for those struggling to remain afloat.

As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I often compare the economy to the climate. Both have seasons, but those seasons are cyclical, unfolding gradually rather than transforming from hot to cold overnight. Right now, based on the most recent economic data, we are seeing interest rates begin a gradual climb. Higher interest rates mean folks with debt will have to spend more to pay it back. It will also cost more to borrow money or refinance.

At the same time, many people are going into debt just to make ends meet. In December of last year, Americans accumulated record levels of debt. Recent data released by the New York Fed shows that US household debt has grown to a record $13 trillion, and credit card balances grew by $24 billion in the final quarter of 2017.

Current economic trends also indicate that many Americans are struggling financially. This past February, retail sales unexpectedly dropped, marking the first time the US economy has seen three consecutive months of declining sales since 2012. Meanwhile business inventories are on the rise. According to economist and financial commentator Peter Schiff, there’s a simple explanation: Americans are broke.

Debt can happen to anyone, especially when you have a family to feed. If it has happened to you, I want you to know that there is a way out. Bankruptcy offers a fresh start, and Chapter 7 bankruptcy in particular allows you to get rid of debts like credit card bills and medical debt without paying them back.

With the interest rates beginning to rise, this is a good moment to file for bankruptcy — before you find yourself spending more just to pay off your debt. I’ve practiced law here in Memphis for more than 30 years, and I’ve seen the power of bankruptcy. It will give you the freedom to create any future you want.

If you have questions or concerns, we are happy to sit down and discuss the process and your options at no cost. Contact us here or call (901) 327-2100 to get started today.