Many of our clients express to us that they feel guilty or ashamed about filing for bankruptcy. They want to pay back their debts, and they feel bad that they are not able to do so. We’ve been practicing bankruptcy law for over 35-years, and in this time we have seen that the vast majority of debtors truly deserve the benefits of bankruptcy. Our clients are people who fell on hard financial times because of unpredictable or unforeseeable situations.
Have you too fallen on hard financial times that you’re continually struggling to manage? Are you avoiding filing for bankruptcy even though it may be the right financial decision for you? If so, why?
Let’s explore some of the reasons why people avoid filing for bankruptcy even when filing would relieve their financial burdens and is the best financial choice for them.
“I am ashamed.”
The most common reasons people file for bankruptcy are medical debt, job loss, or divorce. Falling on financial hard times because of these life events is not shameful. You do not deserve the financial and emotional stress of trying to pay back debts you cannot afford.
Filing for bankruptcy is not shameful. It does not make you a bad person, and it does not mean that you’re a failure. Filing for bankruptcy is a financial decision and it is your legal right.
“I incurred these debts, I should pay them back.”
If repaying your debts is a feasible option, then yes, you should pay them back.
Take an honest assessment of your entire financial picture. Can you reasonably pay your credit card and medical debts off in three years? Or, would paying back the debt mean sacrificing important things like having emergency savings or paying for an adequate health insurance plan? It is not wise to gamble your future health and security in an effort to repay debts that you cannot realistically pay.
“I’ll never get credit again.”
You will be able to get car loans, mortgages, and lines of credit even after filing for bankruptcy. At first, you may only get credit with horrible terms, like high-interest rates or annual fees. You will have to wait at least two years before you can get a mortgage, but you can get a car loan even while you’re still in bankruptcy (though in most cases we would strongly advise against it).
While bankruptcy does lower your credit score, many people find their credit score begins to recover fairly quickly out of bankruptcy. Prior to filing their credit was taking a hit each month with late payments and increasing debt loads. After filing, they have little to no debt, making their debt to income ratio favorable.
“I don’t want anyone to find out.”
In general, if you do not tell people about your bankruptcy, it is unlikely that they will find out about it.
While unlikely it is possible. Bankruptcy petitions are filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and are public record. People who know how to access bankruptcy records are able to do so. It is doubtful that people in your personal life would go searching to see if you filed for bankruptcy.
There are limited situations where your employer may find out if you file for bankruptcy. Also, there may be situations where future employment opportunities are affected by a bankruptcy filing. The most likely scenarios involve wage garnishment, security clearance, and background checks.
We understand that you want to keep your financial matters private. While it is not always possible to keep a bankruptcy filing from being discovered, the people in your personal life are unlikely to find out about it.
“I am ready to explore how bankruptcy can help me.”
We understand that many people feel shame and embarrassment in regard to financial problems or bankruptcy. For this reason, we’re committed to treating every person who walks through our doors with dignity and respect.
Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult financial decision, but bankruptcy can also be the best financial decision. Come meet with us for a free consultation to learn about how bankruptcy will affect you. You may be surprised to learn that many people who file for bankruptcy get to keep most or all of their belongings. You may also be surprised to learn that bankruptcy is not a courtroom battle.
Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we will make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with affect you and your family. We take the time to explain the bankruptcy process to our clients. We invite you to learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free no-obligation consultation.
Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.