Though the great recession officially ended more than a year ago, far too many individuals and families continue to experience the long-lasting effects of a difficult economy. National unemployment rates remain near 10 percent, and even those who are able to find jobs are often overqualified and underpaid for their work. According to the Chicago Tribune, one in four homeowners owes more on a mortgage than their homes are worth.

These challenges have left numerous people unable to meet their existing financial obligations and looking for alternatives. In many cases, those who would have never considered filing bankruptcy five years ago are now seeing it as the only option. Despite the negative perceptions of bankruptcy, though, this is often the best choice for those facing insurmountable financial difficulties.

Although the most obvious benefit of filing bankruptcy is that certain debts may be eliminated, this is only one aspect of the bankruptcy filing. For many who have fallen behind in payments, the stress and aggravation of ceaseless collection calls surpasses the stress of financial problems. Upon filing bankruptcy, debt collectors must stop all collection activities.

Despite these benefits, many refrain from filing bankruptcy for fear that the decision will have long-term consequences. Bankruptcy can remain on an individual's credit report for up to ten years, but new credit can often be re-established fairly quickly. Furthermore, it is impossible to build a strong financial future when constantly struggling to catch up with past due debts.

For more information regarding Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or simply to discuss your options, please call an experienced bankruptcy attorney today.