Feeling Guilty About Filing Bankruptcy? DON’T.
Many people who would qualify for bankruptcy, and desperately need relief from overwhelming debt, have a hard time taking the necessary steps toward freeing themselves because of understandable feelings of guilt and shame. We are, after all, admonished from our earliest years to fulfill our promises and pay back our debts. In fact, repaying what we borrow is the intention of every honest person. Sometimes, however, life gets in the way of carrying out those intentions. For example, divorce, job loss, chronic unemployment, injury, or illness, or even natural catastrophes can make it impossible to get out of debt.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with crushing debt that you can’t repay, refusing to get rid of it in bankruptcy can financially cripple you and those who rely on you. So here is a humane way to think about those who need debt relief and a fresh start through bankruptcy.
First, the Bible, Torah, Koran, and every other world religious text instructs that one should forgive debts owed to one after a proscribed number of years have passed. The Bible, for example, instructs that a creditor (a person owed the debt) should forgive, or write off, the debts owed to him/her after seven years. Our bankruptcy law reflects the fiscally healthy policy of freeing the debtor so that he/she can hopefully thrive and contribute again as a functioning, successful member of the economy. In other words, it is in the best interest of all members of a society that those who are truly unable to get out from under crushing debt should be granted debt forgiveness and a fresh start. It benefits all participants in the economy.
A second way to let go of these uncomfortable feelings that can prevent a person from taking action is to do the following: Visualize a loved one going through the same circumstances as you. Imagine a sibling, parent, adult child, or close friend in your same situation. Would you judge them for filing bankruptcy? Would you love them less? Most of us would feel only empathy and caring for someone else going through the same financial hardship, yet we wrongly judge ourselves harshly for seeking help.
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