Texas residents who are unsure about how they will pay down their debt balances may start thinking about filing for bankruptcy. In fiscal year 2018, there will an estimated 733,000 companies and individuals doing so, which is up from 685,000 in 2017. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans had a total of more than $1 trillion in credit card debt at the close of 2017. They also carried a $1.2 trillion in auto loan debt and $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.
A debt of even a couple thousand dollars can be enough for debt collectors to hound you. To prevent these calls from becoming abusive, lawmakers enacted the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, which covers all household, family and personal debts.
When a Texas resident files for bankruptcy, tax debts could be discharged along with any other outstanding balances. However, it is not a given that a tax debt will be eliminated. If that debt is related to withholding taxes owed, it generally won't go away in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. The same is true if a person is trying to use the bankruptcy system in an effort to evade a tax bill.
Texas patients who can't afford to pay their medical bills may be able to find help doing so. Across the United States, hospitals offered $38 billion in what is referred to as charity care. Sutter Health offers families of four without insurance who make up to $100,400 the ability to have their bills waived entirely. Those who have insurance can still ask to have their payment obligations waived.
The typical Texas resident has some level of debt. According to Experian, the average American household debt excluding mortgages was $24,706 in 2017. The average credit card debt last year totaled $6,354, which was a 2.7 increase throughout 2017. Those in the Generation X and Millennial age groups saw their credit card burden go up the most. Retail credit card debt grew 4 percent for an average balance of $1,841.