Like most Louisiana residents, you’ve likely overcome your share of financial challenges through the years. Sometimes, you might expect a tough time ahead, for instance, if you hear rumors at work that people in your department are going to be laid off or you learn from your doctor that you need surgery. Other times, a financial crisis can hit without warning, such as when a family emergency arises and you have to exhaust your savings account to meet the need. These issues, as well as many others, may prompt a need for immediate debt relief.

Determining a best course of action isn’t always easy. If you have a lot of medical bills that are creating a high balance on your credit card, you may be able to rearrange your finances so that you are paying down the card each month until your balance is zero. That’s not always possible, however, and things can quickly take a turn for the worse if your balance is increasing but you’re not generating enough income to match it.

Income, both current and future potential, is a significant factor in a debt relief plan. In fact, there are certain types of bankruptcy that are open only to those who pass the means test for income. If you earn more than the average median in your state, you will likely not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but may be eligible for Chapter 13.

Trying to figure out which options best fit your needs can be stressful. It often helps to speak with someone who is well-versed in bankruptcy law. In Louisiana, Simon, Fitzgerald, Cooke, Reed and Welch can offer guidance and support as you navigate a chosen debt relief process.