The guilt associated with bankruptcy often begins with the negative feelings that come with the word. When filing bankruptcy is your best or only option, you can feel you have hit “rock-bottom,” the lowest point in your life. While financial instability may sometimes be avoided, it is usually out of your control. Those who resort to filing bankruptcy have often lost their jobs, suffered from a serious medical injury or condition, or experienced a life-changing event, like divorce or a death in the family. These reasons are why bankruptcy is an available remedy. Life is never certain. As the saying goes, “Bad things happen to good people.” That is why the government has allowed for bankruptcy relief.
Bankruptcy can bring a fresh start, but people often feel guilt for discharging their unsecured debt and not paying their creditors. The fact is creditors are allowed to charge astronomical interest rates on your payday loans, credit card debt, lines of credit, etc. By the time you discharge these debts in bankruptcy, you have already paid doublethe amount you borrowed. Yes, you signed the note and agreed to the interest rate and terms of the loan, but people often take out loans during tough times to pay their living expenses and feed their families. As a consumer, you are being taken advantage of day-to-day, and you should not feel guilt for discharging your debt to put you and your family in a better financial position.
Let’s not forget, you are not the only person to file bankruptcy. While there is a stigma that people who file bankruptcy are poor, financially irresponsible, and uneducated–many bankruptcy filers are business owners, prominent members of our community, and celebrities. (Mike Tyson, 50 cent, Francis Ford Coppola, Marvin Gaye, Kim Basinger, Meat Loaf, Cyndi Lauper, MC Hammer, and Larry King have all made the bankruptcy filers list.)
The best way to think about bankruptcy is to see it in terms of a “life reset.” Either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy allows a person or family a second chance. It can remove that constant state of stress that comes with living paycheck to paycheck–essentially working to pay creditors. Although guilt is a normal reaction instilled in us by the society we live in, it is that same society that pushes us to spend more, keep up with our neighbors and friends, and live above our means. From the countless credit card applications in the mail, to checks from finance companies just waiting to be cashed—the opportunity to “buy more” can result in insurmountable bills and expenses.
If you have gotten in over your head, don’t feel ashamed. Give you and your family a fresh start toward a better life. Contact the bankruptcy relief professionals at the Gouner Law Office.
You’ll be glad you did.
By Alyssa Collara
By Alyssa Collara