I never get past a work week without a potential new client telling me that they despise the very thought of having to file bankruptcy. Many of my clients feel that declaring bankruptcy is somehow wrong or that they are a lesser person for filing. I can give you my best advice, but at the end of the day, you are the one left making the final decision.
If you are considering, but fighting that knot in your stomach, here’s some food for thought:
-First, are you so far behind that you will never get ahead?
Often times, a person can benefit their community by filing. This may sound odd to you, but filing bankruptcy allows you to start over. This means no more court dates, no more garnishments, no more creditors wasting their time on a debt that they will never collect on. A fresh start allows you to pay your bills on time, stay out of Court, and begin contributing again in a more positive way.
-Second, have you exercised every option?
As you will be advised by every good bankruptcy attorney, there are several approaches to addressing your debt. Many of my clients have paid their bills consistently over the years, but have been faced with life changes that have made it impossible to pay their debt. I always discuss potential options with my clients. For example, debt consolidation or credit card payment negotiation could be options if you have cash flow and your debt is manageable. Many clients that come to see me are beyond the repair debt consolidation/debt negotiation can offer.
-Third, do you know your options?
Many of my clients are nervous simply because they don’t know or understand what their options are once they file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. My job is to explain the consequences and outcomes of filing bankruptcy. This tends to ease client’s concerns about filing.
-Fourth, is your debt affecting your home life?
As a mother of all boys, I know how frustrating life itself can be. Answering call after call from creditors, being served with a complaint, or facing garnishment of your wages only compounds an already stressful life. The stress of being unable to pay your bills can be extremely overwhelming. It can affect the quality of your home and work life. It can also be a great stressor on your overall health. Several clients that were weary of filing have reported a huge increase in the quality of their life after filing bankruptcy.
In sum, my job is to be understanding and caring about your financial circumstances. In fact, that is the entire reason I wrote this post. I care about my clients and do my best to help them in any way possible.