It’s probably not the first time you’ve encountered financial challenges in life. In fact, if yours is like many other New Jersey households, you’ve likely been having ups and downs with money ever since you got married and started having children. Some years may be better than others. However, if something unexpected occurs, it can really rock your financial standing and, perhaps, even turn into an all-out crisis.

How do you know whether your current financial struggles are more on the line of a par-for-the-course situation that will right itself in time or something more serious where you may need to reach out for added support or find an immediate debt relief solution to your problem? There are several key factors that may help you determine whether you should ride it out or start researching debt relief options.

If collection calls stop and litigation begins

It’s one thing to get a few phone calls from collections agencies, claiming to be attempting to collect debts you supposedly owe to other parties. It’s quite another to receive notice that someone is suing you. There are certain types of bankruptcy that will halt all collections and prevent people from filing collections lawsuits against you.

Wage garnishment

As long as you’re earning a viable income, you may be able to execute a solid debt resolution plan that helps you get your finances back on track and lays the groundwork for future financial stability. However, if your employer is being told to withhold your earnings to garnish your wages to pay back debt, it is a sign that things have gotten out of hand.

Can’t make ends meet 

Perhaps you have medical bills piling up, have endured a pay cut or, you or your spouse has recently lost a job – making it nearly impossible to keep food on the table and pay your other bills. In situations like this, people often resort to making ends meet by using their credit cards, which in turn, can cause increased amounts of accrued interest when monthly balances remain at the end of each payment cycle.

Threat of foreclosure

If you’ve received paperwork in the mail that says your lender is threatening to take ownership of your home because of unpaid mortgage debt, it may be time to look into available debt relief options, such as bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean you will never be able to restore a good credit score. In fact, bankruptcy often helps people wipe the slate clean and start afresh.

Finding answers to financial crisis questions

It can be quite helpful to talk to a close friend or family member who has already successfully overcome serious financial problems in the past, which may provide insight into what worked or didn’t work in a particular situation. It can also help to discuss your financial problems with someone who is well-versed in bankruptcy law.