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Credit card debt after the holidays may prove to be overwhelming

The holiday season in Washington state and everywhere else is a joy for most people due to their relaxing encounters with family and friends and the joyful reigniting of the values of love, charity and gift-giving. The time is short, however, and within a few days a flood of credit card debt will appear in some people's mailboxes, knocking them out of their reverie. It is that post-holiday rush of financial obligations that may make the season slightly depressing overall for some people.

Generally, the rise of credit card debt in the country continues apace. At this point, a flood of defaults and charge-offs has not occurred. That fact, however, influences creditors to increase the generosity of their credit offers. That makes it easier for those less-equipped financially to get themselves overextended.

The total of consumer credit card debt in the country has reached the second-highest point since the end of 2008. The total of such debt is predicted to reach $1 trillion by the end of 2017. This means, of course, that trouble may be approaching for a segment of consumers who will be unable to handle the substantial increase of their personal credit card debt. Even if they manage to keep up with minimum payments, a simple hospital or doctor's bill that is not covered by insurance may signal disaster. The same is doubly true if a family member is laid off or becomes disabled.

Most families do not make enough to save for that kind of a seriously rainy day. With all of the debt management remedies offered to consumers here in Washington state and elsewhere, there is no private remedy that can unravel the insoluble problems of crippling credit card debt and, for that matter, medical debt. The only remedy that can provide consumers a true chance to recover financially is that provided by federal law in the form of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Consumers may obtain a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to learn if they are qualified to file and what advantages and disadvantages, if any, that they may encounter.

Source:, "Tips on managing credit card debt after the holidays", Adam McDonald, Dec. 21, 2017

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