The unknown is often fearful.
My colleague Peter Orville wrote
It is natural to be afraid of doing something you’ve never done before, like filing for bankruptcy protection. This is especially true if you’ve heard stories about why you shouldn’t file bankruptcy.
Peter has it right. Some trepidation is natural.
My beef is that the fear of bankruptcy is promoted by those with something to gain by demonizing bankruptcy.
Fearmongers hope to profit
The stories about why you shouldn’t file are plants.
It’s the creditors, their cohorts, the credit scoring folks, and the debt settlement companies who want you to think that filing bankruptcy is the end of life as we know it.
You know why they do it?
Each of those sources profit if consumers are scared off from filing bankruptcy.
If they can keep you paying the debt, whether or not you can ever pay it off, or keep you scared enough to pay them to make it go away, they prosper.
No one sits in judgment
My charge to clients is that bankruptcy is not painful. Or at least, any pain you experience is self inflicted.
You can make yourself (or allow yourself) to feel as miserable and worthless as you choose to do so. No one associated with the courts, including trustees, is judgmental.
A debtor does not have to justify his choice of bankruptcy relief and does not have to prove he is “worthy” of a discharge. Eligibility for a discharge, even after bankruptcy reform, is presumed.
I have a perverse admiration for clients who have endured the pain and despair of financial distress for as long as most of them have before seeking me out.
But life does not have to be that way; bankruptcy is an honest and effective choice.
There is nothing to be afraid of.