I miss Maurice Sendak, the late author of children’s books.
What does a book about a naughty child who adventures in a nighttime land of monsters have to do with bankruptcy?
The last image in his signature book, Where The Wild Things Are, is my touchpiece for clients afraid to file bankruptcy.
Do you remember it?
When you get to the last page, and Max is back from his excursion with the wild things, safe in his own bed, you discover that the “monster” who loomed large and threatening was the size of a dust bunnie, living under his bed.
In other words, the monsters were all blown out of proportion.
Instead of being three times as big as Max was and vicious to boot, they were insignificant.
Which is a long way of saying that my clients let their imaginations run away with them.
Terrors of bankruptcy are invented
My clients create mental worlds of horrors that happen when you file bankruptcy. Such as:
- “they” come to your house and take everything you own
- you can’t keep your house if you file bankruptcy
- you have to explain to a judge why you deserve bankruptcy relief
- you’ll never get credit again, ever
- your name and bankruptcy filing is published in the paper
- you can’t discharge credit cards, medical bills, taxes, you name it
Each of these horrors are made up.
People who are stressed and fearful take a little bit of truth about bankruptcy, or some of the bad information out there, and blow it up til they are so scared of the unknown they’d rather continue in the world of financial hurt they presently occupy.
It’s unfortunate that my clients can’t make as much money from their imaginations as Sendak did.
But the truth is that when you have good information about how bankruptcy really works, the horrors are mostly made up. The relief that is available is real and reassuring.
Most of the pain in bankruptcy is self inflicted.
You can beat yourself up about the need for a fresh start as much as you choose. But it doesn’t have to be.
Image courtesy of geraldbrazell