In Florida and elsewhere, it is easy for an individual or married couple to get carried away with credit card debt. At first, it seems quite easy to settle back, make purchases and then just pay the minimum amount each month. It is also easy to ask for additional credit cards, especially where no payments have been late or missed. However, this may lead to a spiral that is nearly impossible to stop, and when it goes into runaway mode, a bankruptcy may be the only answer that makes any sense.
The first thing to do when one realizes that there is a growing problem is to put on the brakes and stop spending. Most of what people think they must buy they really don't need to buy. People find that they can in fact reign in their spending when financial matters have approached or reached a point of crisis. The next thing to do is to make a budget.
All income must be added to come up with the available monthly funds that the family has for living expenses. Then the expenditures must be added up on an average basis for each month. With the credit card minimum payments included, see whether there is anything left or whether there is a deficit each month. Make sure to add backed-up medical and dental bills and other legitimate debts that have been put aside and neglected.
If there is a slight deficit or even an amount of cash remaining each month, a debt relief option such as consolidation or debt management may be viable. However, try to be realistic and determine whether trying to make monthly payments can really be achieved. In other words, if the difference between income and bills is seriously lopsided in favor of bills, it is unlikely that any debt relief program to pay back credit cards and medical bills will work. For Florida residents facing that kind of a financial dilemma, a free consultation with a consumer bankruptcy attorney will be extremely helpful and may lead to a surprisingly practical resolution of the problem.
Source: infoaviator.org, "How To Deal With Debt", Thomas Vargo, Dec. 9, 2017