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Middle class continues to take on debt despite stagnant incomes

There are some people in Trenton who point to those who file bankruptcy and say it is their own fault. For some reason, bankruptcy has a negative connotation attached to it, one that speaks of irresponsibility, stupidity and bad money management. Sure, there are some people in New Jersey filing for bankruptcy because they truly are bad at managing and spending their money. Most people, however, are filing bankruptcy for one of a thousand or more other reasons, often through no fault of their own.

It shouldn't be surprising, then, that there are people who consider debt to be just as negative. Often, however, debt is a necessary evil that most people need to live with. From homes to cars to education, many people in the middle class would be unable to afford these arguable necessities without taking on debt. Very few people have the money to pay for these things out-of-pocket.

The problem, however, is not that the middle class is taking on debt, but that they are taking on more and more debt while their incomes remain stagnant. Even if a few people are making more money, the majority of people are dealing with relatively the same incomes as they have in the past. This makes it particularly hard to pay down or off debt.

People in this situation are hardly alone; there are many people across the state in similar circumstances. In order to deal with their debt, many are turning to bankruptcy attorneys for help to make their debt more manageable.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Middle class is drowning in debt, hobbling the economy," Rex Nutting, June 27, 2014

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