Debt not just a struggle for individuals

Debt has always been a struggle for some percent of the country's population, but economic factors following the 2008 and 2009 recession have made debt issues a bigger concern for many. According to an S&P analysis, individuals and families aren't the only entities suffering debt crisis in 2015. According to the report, the United States is leading the world on corporate defaults this year.

Published numbers indicate that 111 companies across the world defaulted on obligations in 2015. That's reportedly the highest total number since the economic trough in 2009, when 242 companies defaulted on debt. Companies based in the United States account for approximately 60 percent of 2015's defaulting entities. Close to another quarter of defaulting companies reportedly come from emerging markets.

These numbers are only relevant to companies that are make the S&P listings, which means small businesses aren't included. Every year, thousands of small businesses across the country close doors, many times due to financial struggles. For small business owners, business financial woes can become personal financial worries, especially in a sole proprietorship situation.

If you are dealing with overwhelming business debt, or if business debt has made a negative impact on your personal life, it's time to consider your options. Both personal and business debt situations can often be resolved through legal channels. From negotiating with creditors to filing bankruptcy petitions, the law creates channels for handling financial crisis. One of the worst things you can do -- as a business or an individual -- is ignore debt or financial issues. As the new year unfolds, take time to understand your books and reach out for assistance if you need it.

Source: Bloomberg Business, "U.S. Companies Led the World in 2015 Debt Defaults, S&P Says," Michelle Davis, Dec. 28, 2015

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