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During the holiday season, keep an eye on credit card debt

As the holidays approach, many people in Massachusetts will be tempted to use their credit cards to purchase gifts and other items they could not otherwise afford. Unfortunately, retailers actively encourage excessive spending at this time of year. For people already burdened by credit card debt, holiday spending can be enough to push them into serious financial difficulty.

High levels of credit card debt can threaten your financial security, damage your credit rating and cause untold amounts of anxiety and stress. When the debt is so high that you cannot afford even the minimum monthly payments on your accounts, it may be time to take serious steps to address the problem.

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide real relief to those facing out-of-control credit card debt. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of the debtor's assets are turned over to a bankruptcy trustee, who then sells or "liquidates" them, using the proceeds to pay creditors. The bankruptcy laws exempt certain assets from liquidation. These exemptions include an automobile up to a certain value, and a certain amount of equity in one's home. In most cases, once the debtor's non-exempt assets have been used to pay creditors, the majority of remaining debts, including credit card debts, are discharged.

The holidays are supposed to be about spending time with family and friends, not spending your way into financial peril. For those who are already facing overwhelming credit card debt, getting more information about the benefits of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can be the first step toward regaining true financial independence.

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