Feeling Guilty About Filing For Bankruptcy?
One of the challenges people face when contemplating bankruptcy is dealing with feelings of guilt and shame. We all grow up being told that we should be responsible for our debts, and that our word is our bond. We are admonished that not paying our debts back is shameful. There is often a specific person, such as a father or mother, or a general authority like “society” or our church, that we are sure would condemn us if it was known we are filing bankruptcy. In truth bankruptcy is a humane system devised over 100 years ago to help all those who qualify get rid of debt that would otherwise cripple them financially for life.
Society recognizes through its system of bankruptcy law that a person who is so far in debt that she can’t possibly pay it off deserves a fresh start. A father or mother who can’t provide necessities for the family, or an individual who is struggling to pay for life essentials, is a member of our community that is suffering economic hardship that often only gets worse with time. Importantly, people who are deep in debt are often having a negative impact on society at large; a person who can’t afford adequate health care, for example, uses emergency room services; is unable to pay income taxes; or has more health problems and thus loses more time from work. A whole host of problems for those individuals causes their suffering but also costs society economically. The option of bankruptcy was designed to help not only individuals, but our community and society as well.
Finally, concern about the creditors, i.e., big banks and credit card companies, is misplaced-the banks and credit card companies are making more money in terms of absolute dollars, and profit, than ever before in the history of our country. Any losses they suffer due to bankruptcy filings is factored into the interest rates they charge on money they loan us.
When contemplating bankruptcy, allow yourself to feel empathy for your own situation. Know that the decision to become debt free and get a fresh start is not only a positive for you and your family, but for your community and society at large. Clients often say to me “I’ll feel relieved when the process is done”. I suggest they allow themselves to feel the relief of a fresh start upon beginning the process, and that the shame and guilt will go down, and the joy of being debt free will go up by the time they leave the parking lot of my building.
If you are suffering with the practical, emotional, and psychological pain caused by overwhelming debt, give yourself the opportunity for a fresh start. Call an attorney who understands your situation, and who can give you expert advice. For 27 years, I’ve helped literally thousands of residents of Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Lake Counties file bankruptcy and get a fresh start.
For a free consultation about your options, call the Law Offices of Brian Barta at (707) 542-2844