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As average debt nears $130,000, debt relief can be necessary

As it grows, debt can be a ball and chain that prevents people in Washington from realizing their life's dreams and goals. Debt can range from credit card bills to unexpected invoices for medical care and even mortgages and car loans. While there is no magic debt relief formula that will work for every individual who is suffering under the burden of bills and creditor phone calls, bankruptcy is often a viable option for most people.

On average, any given household in the United States is carrying approximately $129,500 in debt, $15,000 of which is in credit cards alone. Perhaps more worrying is that 21 percent of people who participated in a survey stated that they would likely never be able to fully pay off their debt. That number rose from 2014, when only 18 percent of respondents predicted that they would be in debt until their death.

Aside from credit card debt, student loans now total $1.2 trillion dollars nationwide. The cost of attending college has risen at an alarming rate, increasing by 500 percent between 1985 and 2012 alone. For many, skipping college is not an option, as the average college graduate earns nearly $18,000 more annually.

The vast majority of people truly do want to be able to pay their debt off, and indeed many people have even planned for that eventuality with the average predicted age for being debt free placed at 54. Unfortunately, debt relief is not always as simple as making a budget and sticking to a plan. Unforeseen events such as medical emergencies and accidents can heap unexpected debt onto people that they are simply unable to outpace. When that debt reaches the point where creditors are calling non-stop and the mail box is overflowing with past due notices, the benefits of bankruptcy often far outweigh any perceived consequences that a Washington consumer might have.

Source: fool.com, "Til Debt Do Us Part: America's Worsening Debt Problem", Sean Williams, Dec. 20, 2015

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