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Methods to avoid filing for consumer bankruptcy

When a Maryland resident is going through a period of financial strife, there are a number of actions that can be taken. Most consumers are aware that filing for consumer bankruptcy is one means of addressing high levels of outstanding debt, but many people want to avoid this path. There are a number of misconceptions that surround bankruptcy, leaving many individuals willing to try virtually anything to avoid filing. The following tips are offered in the hopes of helping those who are looking for other ways to lessen their financial difficulties.

One thing that individuals can do to improve their debt issues is to seek out a credit counseling service. There are programs available that can assess one's current debt scenario and work out a repayment plan that fits an individual's budget and goals. Be wary of any debt relief program that charges excessive fees to participate, or that makes grandiose promises about the ability to reduce debt quickly. Credit counseling can be effective, but it takes time, effort and dedication to be a success.

Another way to ease debt is to take out a consolidation loan. These loan products are issued to consumers who are looking to pay off several smaller and higher interest debts. When used properly, borrowers are able to reduce their monthly interest rate payments while writing fewer checks to meet their debt obligations. Here again, be careful about reviewing the terms of the loan, and make sure that the lender is reputable.

For those in Maryland who are searching for bankruptcy alternatives, the tactics listed above can be effective ways to reduce debt. However, it is worth the time and effort to research the benefits of consumer bankruptcy as one evaluates his or her debt relief options. Many people are unaware of how the bankruptcy process works, and make choices about their own financial future without having all of the facts.

Source: The Street, "5 Steps to Backing Away From Bankruptcy", Brian O' Connell, April 8, 2014

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