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Could more debt lead to bankruptcy?

Debt is sometimes hard to avoid. Even for the most well-seasoned and responsible consumer, a bit of debt here and there can quickly snowball into something much larger. Is it all bad news, though? While consumer debt is currently rising higher than expected, it is unclear how it might affect future bankruptcy filings.

In Nov. 2018, consumers in Ohio and across the rest of the nation added $22.1 billion to their debt. This was apparently a much higher increase than experts had originally predicted. Added to the $25 billion in debt that consumers tacked on in October of the same year, and some people might be starting to feel the pinch of monthly repayments.

However, it might all be bad news. One explanation for the sudden increase is that the current job market is relatively strong and stable. Consumers only added $4.77 billion in revolving debt, which are things like credit cards where an individual can add to his or her debt while in the middle of repaying. Nonrevolving debt -- think student or auto loans -- rose the most at $17.4 billion.

A stronger economy and better job market often leads to an increase in consumer debt, and on the whole it might not be much to worry about. However, for the individual person in Ohio, an increase in debt can be a serious concern. Whether through a sudden financial disaster or the slow accumulation of smaller debts, dealing with harassing creditors, late notices and even legal action can be overwhelming and tiresome. As such, bankruptcy not only helps these individuals address their financial woes, but can also provide much-needed emotional relief.

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