The holiday season can be one of the greatest revenue producing times of the year for most retailers. But for consumers, the holidays generally mean a substantial increase in credit card debt. Many Americans are facing substantial credit card debt these days in the wake of the recession.

The Visa payment processing company saw a 25 percent jump in profits in the last three months of 2012. This is a result of consumers using their credit and debit cards more often over this time period.

This increase is even up from the October to December period in 2011. In 2012, the total transactions processed were $14.2 billion. This is an increase of four percent from the same time period in 2011.

Visa is based in Foster City, California. In addition to processing card transactions, they are able to provide helpful insight into consumer spending.

Visa is continuing to see growth in the use of credit and debit cards. Globally, Visa saw a borrowing increase by consumers of $16 billion from September to November. In general, Americans are increasing their debt by purchasing vehicles and paying school tuition instead of substantial increases in using credit cards.

If facing serious credit card debt, one option is bankruptcy. There are two types of personal bankruptcy; Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 allows for liquidation of the individual's debt. Chapter 13 allows for the creation of a reorganization plan for the debt.

If the consumer qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he or she can discharge or eliminate debt such as credit card debt, medical bills, secured loans and mortgage debt if the individual does not want to keep the house. Student loans and child support obligations, however, cannot be discharged under Chapter 7.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Visa's fiscal 1Q net income jumps 25 pct," Alex Veiga, Feb. 6, 2013