Every year numerous Illinois residents find themselves needing financial help. There is no shame in asking for assistance when one’s debt situation becomes too much to handle alone. However, many people refuse to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy or seek out other debt relief solutions because they view taking such steps as a personal failure. Do not think of bankruptcy as a sign of failure; rather, think of it as an opportunity to improve one’s situation.

A gentleman in another state recently shared his bankruptcy story and it is one that many people can relate to. At the age of 18 he obtained his first credit card. At the time, he was enrolled in college so his credit card debt piled up, as did student loans that he needed to cover all his major expenses. By the age of 26, he found himself in worse financial shape, owing $38,000 in student loans, several thousand in credit card debt and owing $15,000 on an auto loan. As he was only bringing in $2,000 a month, he lost all hope that he would ever be able to pay off his debt.

In searching out his debt relief options, bankruptcy, though something he did not want to do, seemed to make the most sense. He met with an attorney and, since he had very little cash on hand, opted to file for Chapter 13 as it allows legal fees to be included in the payment plan. The court process was far easier than expected ,and his bankruptcy petition was approved. Now, he is paying down his debt and saving money as well.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not the answer for everyone, but there are many Illinois residents who may benefit from utilizing this debt relief option. It is impossible to know if it will work for one’s specific situation without asking for help, though. Legal counsel will have the ability to review one’s finances and offer viable debt solutions.