Gambling is the process of taking chances and running risks. For an infinitesimal few, this risk pays off with a high reward that lets them retire early and pursue their dreams. However, for the overwhelming majority, the outcome isn't so positive. Whether it's due to an addiction or an unlucky streak, gambling can leave many people with large debts that put their financial wellbeing at risk.
How Gambling Debt Can Accrue
Gambling addictions can leave people with no money, no career and no family. The truth of the matter is that chronic gambling can destroy peoples' lives and leave them spiralling downwards into a bottomless pit.
While previously gamblers had to visit a racetrack or casino to risk their money, the internet has brought with it a plethora of alternatives that are just waiting to take your hard-earned cash. Online casinos, bingos, lotteries and even virtual race courses are becoming commonplace, giving gambling addicts an easy option when they need a quick fix.
Furthermore, payday loans and cash advances give gamblers an immediate source of funding when their wallet runs dry. These high-interest loans usually come with gross fees that are added to the loan if payments are missed or alternative arrangements are set up. Over a worryingly short period of time, gamblers can dig themselves deep into a financial hole that is extremely difficult to climb out of.
Bankruptcy as Debt Relief
Bankruptcy offers gambling addicts a lifeline to help manage their mountain of debt. By filing for bankruptcy, your bank account and crucial assets are protected from creditors. This enables you to make a fresh start with your finances and move beyond your current money-related difficulties.
If you file for Chapter 13, you are offered the chance to create a structured repayment plan with your creditors that allow you to pay an affordable monthly fee towards your debts. With Chapter 7, the court will take control of any assets that are deemed non-critical and sell them to relieve you of your debts. Whichever option is deemed best for you, you will be given the chance to "come up for air" and clear yourself of any stress that you may be experiencing due to debt.
How Bankruptcy Can Relieve Gambling Debts
The process of filing for bankruptcy and the amount of debt that is deemed dischargeable by the court depends entirely on the source of your gambling debt. If you have taken out personal loans with a bank in order to fund your addiction, this is typically classed as unsecured debt. This means that there are no assets in place to prop up the loan and as such creditors have no legal right to claim your property.
On the other hand, if you have borrowed money by using your property as collateral, this debt is considered to be secured. In these cases, your creditors have legal rights to claim the value of non-critical assets in order to clear the money owed. The process of selling non-critical assets varies between states; however, in the majority of cases the court will claim your property and will pay your creditors on your behalf.
The best way to gain a thorough understanding of your gambling debts and make strides towards clearing your name is to speak to an experienced credit counselling firm. These companies have a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding different forms of debt relief and will be able to suggest a course of action for your particular needs. As such, consider contacting a credit counselling agency to assess your case and gain a fuller understanding of what options are available.
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