Debt is a fact of life for most people. Whether you have a mortgage, student loans, car payments, or carry a credit card balance, you owe somebody something. Some people can manage their debt. For others, a financial disaster such as a medical emergency or the loss of a job can cause things to swiftly spin out of control.

Bankruptcy is a viable debt relief option for people who are struggling to keep up. However, it can be challenging to know when the time is right to file for bankruptcy. The desire to catch up on your bills by yourself can be strong. Here are some signs that you may wish to begin thinking about your bankruptcy options.

Have you found yourself in these situations?

One missed, or past due payment is probably not the time to file for bankruptcy protection. However, you don’t want to wait until you’re drowning in debt to file either. If you are experiencing any of the following, you should start to consider filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

  • Bill collectors are calling you: Once bill collectors start calling you, you are probably significantly behind on your repayment schedule. Things become even more serious once they start to garnish your wages or begin pursuing legal action against you.
  • You’re facing the threat of foreclosure: If you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payments, your lender may start foreclosure proceedings. Filing for bankruptcy may give you the time you need to catch up on past due payments. A Chapter 13 filing may even enable you to keep your home while putting you on an affordable repayment schedule for your outstanding debts.
  • You’re borrowing money to pay off other debts: Taking on additional debt to address another debt is a losing proposition. Using other credit cards to pay off credit card bills or borrowing money from loved ones is a temporary fix at best.

There is no shame in seeking bankruptcy protection. The sooner you address overwhelming debt issues, the sooner you can get on the path to a brighter financial future. You should discuss your options with a skilled professional.