FindLaw.com visitors know that this is the site to come to for useful, practical legal information. Our consumers and our attorney clients rely on FindLaw.com to provide the kind of legal background to current events and trends that others just don’t offer. This helpful information can always be found in our daily blogs, news articles, constantly updated legal content and legal answers and wiki communities. However, FindLaw also prepares surveys, news releases and other sources of information to bring legal news to an even wider audience.

One issue of concern that just won’t seem to go away is the difficult economy. Despite signs of growth, the still slow job market has forced many Americans into debt. FindLaw offers information on debt solutions and ways to contact bankruptcy attorneys, however, in a recent
release
and a survey on bankruptcy, FindLaw has gathered more information and even some smart tips for those still in debt or considering whether bankruptcy is something they might need to face before they can get a fresh start.

FindLaw Bankruptcy Survey 2011 - Infographic

In our latest release, FindLaw suggests consumers take strong action to prevent going into debt whenever possible. For example, individuals should pay off existing debt as quickly as possible and cut back on non-essential items like cable, landline phone service and other subscriptions. This kind of savings can help you start to live within your means and avoid adding on future debt.

Those living from paycheck to paycheck can also consider taking on a second job. Although never an easy solution, in addition to an increased income, a second job with better benefits could also help cut expenditures for healthcare costs — something that many of us struggle with.

FindLaw also recommends a different mind-set might help consumers in financial stress. Debt should be considered an option, not a necessity. One suggestion is that instead of taking out loans to pay for college, students should work first, to save up for tuition. According to The Project on Student Debt, the average college student enters the workforce with more than $24,000 in student loan debt. In a still uncertain job market, a load of debt is not a good way to start a working life.

These suggestions for managing debt and financial stress will be of use to many of us. In its latest
survey
, FindLaw found that almost one in 8 Americans, thirteen percent, have either filed for or are considering filing for bankruptcy. Last year saw the highest level of personal bankruptcy filings since new laws went into effect in 2005.

FindLaw advises careful consideration before filing for bankruptcy protection. Although for many, bankruptcy is necessitated by a major life change such as unemployment, medical emergency or foreclosure, bankruptcy is a serious step which can affect your credit far into the future.

In addition, bankruptcy does not discharge all debts. Filers will still be required to pay obligations such as student loans, taxes and child support. However, if bankruptcy is something individuals want to consider, FindLaw has the resources, information and attorneys to help consumers come to terms with their financial difficulties, and move ahead.

– Michelle Croteau, Director, Marketing Communications
with Tanya Roth, FindLaw Audience Team

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