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Growing Bankruptcy Concerns: What Do You Do?

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

With unemployment benefits running out this week and people worried about jobs, credit issues and possible bankruptcy are growing issues.

If you find yourself dealing with issues, Putnam County UT Extension Director Michelle Parrott said the first step is to communicate with your creditor.

“Talk with them and see if there is any assistance available,” Parrott said. “Sometimes, many of them have their own programs that they can help their individuals with. So, talking with that person is your first step and definitely your first call.”

Parrott said when talking to your creditor, work on a payment plan that you can afford. The next step is to stay up to date on your credit report. Parrott said due to COVID-19, people can check their credit reports for free until April 2021 through AnnualCreditReport.Com.

“Even before the crisis hit, I feel like people did not check their credit report like they should,” Parrot said. “Right now, because the impact on everybody’s finances, staying up to date is very important.”

When looking at your budget, focus on priority expenses such as rent and utilities. Parrot said do not pay large lump sums for credit cards and avoid optional spending when your basic needs can not be met.

“Second priority expenses include car payments, cell phones and minimum payments on credit cards,” Parrot said. “Some medical bills can be differed to by talking with your creditor about your situation.”

Parrott said filing for bankruptcy should be a last resort after exhausting all options. Parrott said to ask friends, families and faith organizations to help you back on your feet.

The UT extension website has materials available online to help with a money crisis. Parrott said to call (931) 526- 4561 for copies of the resources.



The post Growing Bankruptcy Concerns: What Do You Do? appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.