Authorities say a double murder suicide in Noble County Wednesday may have been a result of the family having financial problems.
"The biggest stress on anyone right now is finances, and it's always been. It's the number one reason for divorces," Pam Dowler, executive director of Consumer Credit Counseling, said.
Dowler understands how stressful a tight budget can be, and in the case of the Bayly family, it may have been unbearable.
The Noble County Sheriff's department got a call from Theadore Bayly saying he had killed his wife Janice and son Colton. It was during this phone call Bayly said he was having money problems and was going to take his own life as well. This is something Dowler said could have been prevented.
"It's not your fault, and the hardest thing you ever do is walk through the front door and ask for help with your finances," Dowler said
If you've hit a brick wall financially and you're struggling to pay your bills, counselors say there are several ways to get back on track.
"Things like making sure your resume's updated, start looking at the job market maybe even before you've been given the pink slip if you think that's coming," Linda Stockton, a licensed professional counselor, said.
But if you're already past that point and need immediate help, Dowler suggests starting over.
"Rather you come here and let us handle the stress of your finances and letting us deal with your creditors, or rather you go to an attorney and file a complete chapter seven and do a total wipe-out of your debt, either way it's a fresh start," Dowler said.
She also said if filing bankruptcy is the only way out of debt, it's important to know there's no shame in it and to remember that it's not your fault.
Counselors say that just talking to someone about financial struggles can sometimes be the best therapy.
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