The respected publication TIME magazine recently published a piece profiling a couple who found themselves in a surprising amount of debt over a short period of time. According to the piece, the couple had no debt when they were first married. Yet, over a relatively short span of time, the couple had accumulated $50,000 in credit card debt. This is particularly surprising given that one of the spouses is a debt settlement expert. What went wrong?

Things started to go wrong a few days after the couple purchased their first home. The price of the home was high, but the home had not been an impulse buy and the couple believed they were ready for the commitment. Most Americans owe far more debt than a mortgage alone. This couple owed only their mortgage. Yet, shortly after the purchase, doubts crept in and became a constant source of stress.

When unexpected life events begin to eat at your income, you may find that it is difficult to make your mortgage payments. But because it is critical that you make your mortgage payments on time, you may find yourself placing more and more of your bills on credit cards. Even though your credit card debt is spiraling out of control, it is not your credit cards that are the problem in this scenario. Your mortgage is.

If your mortgage is causing your other finances to spiral, please consider speaking to an attorney experienced in matters of debt relief and bankruptcy. An attorney will be able to guide you through the particulars of your situation and hopefully aid you in finding a solution that works for you.

Source: TIME, “How I Got Out of $63,000 of Credit Card Debt,” Gerri Detweiler, March 10, 2015