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If you are struggling to pay off high-interest credit card debt and see no end in sight, filing for bankruptcy can help you discharge these loans and enjoy a debt-free life again. The stigma once associated with this process is long gone—and bankruptcy is more common than you think. Read on for an overview of some of the largest bankruptcies in American history.

One the largest casualties of the 2008 recession was Chrysler. It entered bankruptcy protection with more than 31 billion dollars in assets, and received a bailout from the U.S. government to help cover its loans. After a quick restructuring process, the company was able to emerge from bankruptcy protection exactly 41 days after it first filed. The corporation survived the recession and is now profitable, due to its smart use of the corporate bankruptcy provisions. Chrysler is a good example of the positive effect that a discharge can have on your future.

This telecommunications company was engaged in large scale accounting fraud, often reporting that their assets were worth much more than they were. When the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002, it was worth 103 billion; its CEO was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison for violating a number of federal laws.

Lehman Brothers
In terms of total worth, this may have been the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. When this company filed for government protection during the height of the last recession, it had more than 691 billion dollars in assets. Eventually, the corporations’ holdings were liquidated and bought up by other banks.

Millions of Americans file for bankruptcy every year—and you don’t have to owe billions of dollars to qualify. However, only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help determine which path is right for your specific situation.