Will growing consumer debt lead to more personal bankruptcy?

Since the financial crisis that rocked consumers in Connecticut and across the country 10 years ago, there has been a renewed focus on national consumer debt levels. In recent years, consumer debt has been growing, but not everyone is worried. Some experts believe that the current stronger economy can support the growing levels of debt. However, there are always exceptions to these generalities, and some people might find that personal bankruptcy is their best solution to overwhelming debt.

Consumer debt — which does not include mortgages — hit $3 trillion in 2013. It is expected to pass the $4 trillion mark by the end of 2018. At least $1 trillion of this debt is wrapped up in credit card balances, while things like student loans, auto loans and other debts account for another $2.93 trillion.

Holiday spending is expected to contribute to that predicted year-end total of $4 trillion. Experts expect holiday shoppers to add about 5 percent to their current credit card balances, which amounts to about $600 million nationwide. Since many people in recent years have seen their incomes grow faster than debt and the economy is currently performing fairly well, these numbers might not be anything to fret over.

Still, not everyone received a raise or accepted a new position that pays more. Others might have been hit by unexpected medical expenses or even thrown off guard by the slow and steady accumulation of debt. Regardless of the reasons a person in Connecticut finds themselves unable to pay their bills, personal bankruptcy can help discharge unsecured debts and set their lives back on track.