As 2012 comes to a close, credit card debt tops the list of worries for many California consumers. While the end of the year is a good time to look back on the financial decisions made over the past 12 months, it can also reveal a level of credit card debt that has reached insurmountable levels. For many consumers, little options remain beyond filing for personal bankruptcy.

A study conducted by FICO suggests that credit card debt is the most significant financial concern of American consumers in 2012. As Christmas approaches, half of the 2,400 individuals surveyed stated that they plan to purchase all of their holiday gifts using credit cards. A third of respondents say that they will cut back on spending this year.

The purchases made in 2012 will take a considerable amount of time to pay down, as well. In 2010 only 18 percent of shoppers said that it would take more than three months to pay off those bargains. In 2012, that number rose to 25 percent. So, even as more people pledge to spend less, it might take longer to pay off those balances than higher ones from previous years.

For some California shoppers, no amount of frugality during the holiday season will be sufficient to stave off financial ruin. Some will simply be unable to repay their credit card debt, no matter how stringently they try to meet their monthly debt obligations. In such cases, filing for personal bankruptcy could be the most feasible option, and can provide fast, efficient and lasting relief from credit card debt.

Source: ABC News, “Credit Card Debt Is Top Worry, Survey Finds,” Dec. 6, 2012