No one really expects that he or she will file for bankruptcy until the moment finally arrives when the numbers bring home the reality. According to the Federal Reserve, overall household debt stood at more than $13 trillion at the end of 2017, which included $8.8 trillion in mortgages, $1.4 trillion in student loans, $1.2 trillion in car loans, and more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. Against this backdrop, the U.S. Trustees Program estimates that 733,000 businesses and individuals are anticipated to eliminate or decrease their debt through bankruptcy in fiscal year 2018. While that number is less than half the peak of 1.5 million filings in 2010, it is more than the estimated 685,000 in 2017. You can use bankruptcy exemptions to protect property you need to work and live, such as some equity in a home, a modest car, and household belongings. When it comes to your retirement accounts, Congress overhauled the bankruptcy laws in 2005. Now, virtually all ERISA-qualified retirement accounts and pension plan funds are exempt from creditors. For this or any other legal needs, please call 262-633-8301 to set up a free consultation. Pruitt Law Offices S.C. is located at 731 Main Street in Racine. We are your partners for professional service.