Clients who come in to Steidl and Steinberg will often say, “I know this doesn’t seem like a lot of debt compared to most of the clients you see.”
The funny thing about this statement is that I hear it from people with $8,000.00 in debt and people with $30,000.00 in debt or more. So what is the minimum amount of debt that you need to have to consider filing for bankruptcy?
There is no minimum.
Debt is different
The reason is, $8,000.00 of debt for one person can be as devastating as $75,000 for another. Some of our clients are on fixed incomes. One person may be receiving $900.00 per month on Social Security; another may be getting $1,700.00 per month on Social Security and another $2,200.00 per month from a pension. All of them are on “fixed incomes”.
The person who is collecting $900.00 per month, making the payments on $8,000.00 in debt is a severe hardship. Rent, utilities, food, and transportation expenses will eat up that money in a second. The person who is bringing in $3,900.00 per month, having to make $900.00 per month payments on credit cards could also be facing a hardship after a mortgage, car payments and repairs, food for the family, additional utilities, taking care of the dog and making sure there is something left over if the refrigerator breaks.
For that person, having $30,000.00 or more in credit card debt is a lot.
Don’t compare the amount of debt you have with the amount that others have. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Let us thoroughly review your income and expenses and go over alternatives with you.