Falling behind on debt repayment can create anxiety, stress and worry. If you are struggling to pay bills and facing rising late fees and interest rates, bankruptcy could put you back on the path to financial freedom.

If these four statements sound familiar, you may benefit from discharging or reorganizing your debt through bankruptcy.

  1. You try to stick to a budget but you are unable to meet monthly expenses

If your bills are higher than your income each month, it will be impossible to catch up unless you are able to bring in more money with a raise or a second job. This is especially true if you are only able to make the minimum payments on credit cards and other high-interest accounts. When you file for bankruptcy, the court-appointed trustee will compare your income and assets to your debts and either discharge eligible debts or determine an affordable payment.

  1. You are stressed by bill collector calls

Unfortunately, bill collectors will not stop calling as long as you are behind in debt payments. If you file for bankruptcy, however, you receive an automatic stay. This means the law bars creditors from contacting you.

  1. It would take longer than two years to repay your debts

If you have credit card bills, medical debt and other accounts that could be dischargeable in bankruptcy, add up the total amount and divide it by 24. For example, if you currently have $20,000 in unsecured debt, you would need to pay at least $833 a month toward your debt. If you would be unable to make the monthly payment you calculate, you are in over your head and could benefit from bankruptcy.

  1. Your credit score is already damaged

While many feel concerned about the effect bankruptcy will have on their credit, chances are that if you are struggling to pay bills, your debt has already impacted your credit score negatively. On the contrary, filing for bankruptcy gives you a clean slate on which to rebuild better credit.