Although the housing market continues to gradually improve, many Birmingham residents still owe more than their homes are worth. The lack of equity becomes a serious financial problem in cases where homeowners are unable to maintain their monthly mortgage payments. In this situation, homeowners often seek to get out from under their mortgage through a short sale.
As many Birmingham residents can attest, debt can quickly snowball out of control. Once a payment has been missed, late fees and interest can easily inflate the original amount owed on an account. Missed payments also have another unintended consequence: collection calls and harassment from debt collectors.
Credit card debt is a mounting problem for many Birmingham residents, including college students. Recent figures show that college students are taking on credit card debt at an alarming rate. In fact, the average undergraduate now has $2,500 in credit card debt. Once they graduate from college, former students are often unable to make even the minimum payments.
Birmingham residents, along with numerous other Americans, pursue college educations and training in the hopes of a better future. The pursuit of a college education, however, is costly. This year, the total amount of student loan debt exceeded $1 trillion. There is more student loan debt in the country than any other type of consumer debt. Many people in financial distress do not have the resources to repay their student loans. For this reason, many people often inquire into the ability to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy.