It is a tough decision to make, but sometimes bankruptcy is the only viable option to overcome a high debt load. Stockton, California, has come to this difficult conclusion: its city council recently voted to seek bankruptcy protection. Many Sacramento households can relate to the needs of the city and its decision to seek debt relief as well.

The city claims it could not renegotiate its debt with its creditors and bankruptcy became its only viable option. Individuals can experience the same difficulties. Often creditors are unwilling to negotiate. Filing for bankruptcy protection allows an individual to get some relief from the often aggressive collection tactics used by creditors.

Also, the city says that the bankruptcy filing was necessary to meet its budget shortfall. Similarly, individuals can experience budget shortfalls every month. If money that is spent on minimum monthly credit card balances and other unsecured debt can be redirected toward other household necessities, many households can experience much greater financial freedom.

The city is not able to provide adequate police and fire department services due to its high debt load. Similarly, individuals may not be able to provide for the basic needs of their families when debt becomes too high. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy allow individuals to extinguish burdensome credit card debt and prioritize monthly spending to meet the needs of their households.

Finally, because the city has carried the debt load for so long, its residents have suffered great losses. Unemployment rates are high and there has been an increase in burglaries to local businesses. Individuals carrying high debt loads for extended periods of time suffer problems of their own. Stress on marriages and other relationships, decreased productivity at work and stress-induced medical problems are very common for those suffering under high debt loads. Bankruptcy protection can eliminate debt and allow individuals a chance to recover and heal.

Source: Fox News, "Stockton bankruptcy is hard hit for city retirees," June 27, 2012