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Some financial options available to retire debt

Texans may have read a 2013 report saying that an average American is currently more than $225,000 in debt. While bankruptcy filings declined last year, it is still relatively easy to miss a house or credit card payment due to unforeseen circumstances, such as loss of employment or family emergency. Debt accumulation may be an unavoidable choice.

Many options are available to retire high debt, such as debt consolidation, negotiation of debt, credit counseling, refinancing of mortgage loan and, even, filing for bankruptcy. Some people manage to keep abreast of bills but cannot seem to manage multiple debt payments and due dates may try debt consolidation. A home equity loan from a mortgage company or a personal bank loan can pay off debts, including medical bills, credit cards and utility expenses. Debt consolidation leaves one monthly payment, which often has a lower interest rate.

A financial professional can negotiate debt levels and payments with creditors for a debtor. This service may help lower unsecured debt balances. Credit counseling may also be a good choice to reduce debt. These agencies have pre-arranged agreements with credit card companies to lower interest rates on consumer debt. A debt management plan can help a debtor reduce balances but often this service requires payment of a monthly fee to the agency.

Mortgage financing is also an option to free up cash to pay down other debts. Credit cards generally have higher interest rates than mortgages so it may be best to clear credit card debt first. However, when all else fails, filing for bankruptcy can provide some relief from unmanageable debt. Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option. Consultation with a Texas bankruptcy lawyer can identify the challenges and circumstances of each case and help a Dallas resident finally find relief from financial problems.

Source: KFVS12.com, "Say good riddance to debt," Andrew Housser, May 27, 2014

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