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Out of work? Debt relief options may be available

In our current economy, we all know it can be rather hard trying to find a new job. Unemployment rates are high and many companies are in the position of cutting back instead of adding new jobs. This in turn has led to many falling behind on bills and many others losing their homes to foreclosure.

An example of how business affects employees was recently highlighted when it was reported that American Airlines plans to lay off more than 1,000 Florida employees. This news came months after US Airways Group Inc. announced plans to try and merge with American Airlines, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2011.

According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, this American Airlines layoff will affect 1,414 Florida employees.

In general, being laid off can be a scary time. While looking for a new job many people fall behind on making bill payments. Even after finding a new job, it does not end as now there's still the debt that also needs to be taken care of. However, there are often debt relief options available.

In fact, these economic times have led many to file for a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. With this type of filing, legally dischargeable debts are forgiven and qualifying assets are sold off in order to pay back creditors.

Of course though, it's not just as straight forward as that and when it comes to what assets are sold off and what are exempt assets, the rules can get rather complicated. However, the No. 1 thing to keep in mind is that most people do not have to surrender all of their assets and many are still able to hold on to their homes.

Source: Charlotte Business Journal, "American Airlines to lay off 1,414 workers in Florida," Sept. 19, 2012

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