What would happen if………..
- You lost your job in a bad economy…..
- You became ill and couldn’t work for a year…..
- Your business went belly up and you had no income …….
- Your spouse died and left half of everything to a zebra rescue center…..?
As much as we want to deny it, most of us haven’t been able to save enough money to survive for the amount of time it would take to get back on our feet. Why is that? Because life happens and unless we have lived in a cave somewhere, it’s very expensive.
Sometimes Budgets Can’t Compete With Life
All the budgets in the world can’t compete with the credit card marketing campaigns encouraging us to spend more than we have. The yearnings for a tropical vacation, just like the one the Joneses next door went on, are strong after a long year of hard work. And, our twin girls are both getting married this summer syndrome is no piece of cake either.
For others, circumstances beyond their control have stolen their lives without regard to the suffering affecting their families. I cannot say the word stolen strongly enough because of all I’ve witnessed as an attorney.
For all of the reasons above and many more, people come to my office to share their experience with me and ask for my advice with regard to their future. We talk about bankruptcy. Some days, when I leave my office I can’t just lock the door and leave my client’s worries behind me. Some have had devastating losses, some have debt that has built up over time, some have simply tried to live the American dream and found out it’s not so easy. All come with a feeling of shame.
The Stigma Of Bankruptcy
The stigma of bankruptcy is easier to survive than going to debtor’s prison and that’s what our country was built on. While responsible financial behavior is the goal, a new start is sometimes necessary. Our constitution is based on the knowledge that…..life happens.
Bankruptcy is an opportunity to get up, dust off our jeans, lick our wounds and try again. There is no shame in that. There are different types of bankruptcies allowing for complete discharge of debt or paying debt off in a safe financial way over a period of time. There are non-bankruptcy workouts allowing us to negotiate with our creditors. If you own a business, you can restructure to save your company and the jobs it provides.
While I wish everyone well, I understand that life happens and sometimes we just need the opportunity to start over. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world, its life happening with new knowledge and a fresh start.
Bankruptcy is not for everyone. It should be carefully weighed as one of several options. In my office, all options are discussed to find the right solution for each individual situation.