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Underemployment and debt can lead to bankruptcy

According to the most recent Gallup.com data, 19.3 percent of Florida residents are underemployed. That places the state third from the bottom, with only California and Nevada workers in worse shape. When you develop marketable skills through education and experience, you have a right to expect a career that meets your basic financial needs. We at the Law Offices of George Castrataro, P.C., understand that taking a job that does not pay you according to your qualifications can lead to serious financial challenges.

When your paycheck is already too small to cover all your living expenses, you may be forced to buy necessities on credit or use credit to pay for an unexpected medical condition. This can leave you unable to meet your financial obligations. Your creditors have the legal right to go to court and get a writ of garnishment. A wage garnishment can be devastating as this allows creditors to receive a portion of your income directly from your employer, which leaves less for your day-to-day expenses such as rent, food and utilities. Your employer cannot legally fire you for one debt garnishment, but if there are two or more, your job is no longer protected.

Depending on the type of debt you have, you may find relief from creditors, garnishments and repossessions by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you qualify, unsecured debts such as credit cards and personal loans can be completely discharged. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the amount of your debt is reduced to monthly payments that you can afford, and a trustee is appointed by the court to use your income to pay off the debts. Filing either type of bankruptcy immediately stops wage garnishments, which may make the difference in whether you are able to keep your job. For more information about ways to deal with overwhelming debt in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, visit our webpage.

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