According to an article in the Star-Telegram, over 8.6 million Americans work part-time because they can’t find full-time work, that’s the largest number of part-time workers ever recorded, a 76 percent increase from 2008.

The article said:

As the recession cuts demand for goods and services, companies that don’t shed workers outright must squeeze savings from the work force that remains. They typically do so by cutting hours.

These workers who have been “saved” from facing an outright job loss are in many ways worse off than fully unemployed workers. Unemployed workers have access to welfare and unemployment benefits while part-time workers must make do with what their employers give them. If they quit they won’t get ANY unemployment benefits.

These part-time workers are living on the edge of foreclosure and bankruptcy and were often living paycheck to paycheck before the pay cuts. Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and any substantial cut in workers wages can send the average American worker into a financial tailspin which often includes foreclosure and credit card defaults.

While these workers may not have enough money to pay for the basics and their debts they still have a job with an income that can be garnished by creditors. As credit card companies experience more defaults they are becoming desperate and going after debtors who owe smaller amounts of money.

Hourly workers who have their hours cut are vulnerable to this type of creditor targeting if they don’t remain current on their debt payments. But they often can’t remain current on their debt payments because doing so would make them vulnerable to foreclosure or some other financial calamity.

So what are the options for a full-time worker forced into part-time pay? If you a worker who has experienced a reduction in salary/hours take a close look at your financial picture. Are you still able to pay your mortgage/rent, daily expenses and repay your personal credit card debts , loans, car note etc.? If not, contact a bankruptcy attorney today to find out how Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you either discharge the debts or repay them under an affordable plan.