Filing For Bankruptcy – Combatting Fear With Information

by Carmen Dellutri, Esq.

May 25, 2010

The other day I spoke with a young couple with a history.  The wife and her best friend had been friends since they were five years old.  They had grown up next to each other and were otherwise always together.  When the house next door came available for purchase (at the top of the market) the young woman purchased the home right next to her best friend.

Now, several years later and facing tough economic times, the young woman expressed to me that she didn’t want to file bankruptcy (based upon what she had heard from her friend), but was looking for alternatives due to mounting debt and loss of income.  She wanted to save the home because she just couldn’t leave her friend.  We discussed the consequences of leaving the home and keeping the home, and despite my best advice, she still wanted to keep the home.

After a very long discussion, it became apparent that the driving motivation was fear.  She was fearful that her friend would find out if she filed for bankruptcy.  She feared that her friend wouldn’t understand.  She feared that her friend wouldn’t be there for her.  All of these fears arose out of conversations between the two of them and opinions that were expressed in the past.

Filing for bankruptcy is a very personal financial decision, but many individuals seek out the opinions of others looking for options or support.  When it comes to making financial decisions that will alter our futures, we want the best advice out there.  Likewise, with the loss of so much wealth in this country over the last several years, we want the best possible advice on what to do going forward.  Yet, sometimes we to go the worst sources for information.

Often, the information seekers are met with supportive individuals (friends or relatives) who say un-supportive things, which leaves them more confused than ever before.  The question is why would typically supportive people say un-supportive things about a person’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection ?

I honestly believe that people fear change.  They fear changing their circumstances, but another fear lies within, and that fear may be even greater than the fear of change,  and that fear is the fear of others changing.  If someone else makes a change, it could have a positive or negative effect on the relationship, and therefore, they discourage the person seeking to make a change.  In other words, they feel threatened.

The idea of making good financial decisions which would change her and her young family’s lives going forward was not being considered.  She was fearful of what others would think and whether they would still like and accept her.  She never stopped to think about what would be best for her?  Or, what would be best for her family?

After speaking with this young woman, I realized that money and money problems are not as important to some people as what others may think of them having financial issues.  Unfortunately, money problems can happen to anyone, no-one is immune.

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Carmen Dellutri is a proud member of the Florida Bar, and he is a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney, Certified by the American Board of Certification. He practices in the areas of Consumer Bankruptcy and Plaintiff's Personal Injury. He is the principal attorney at The Dellutri Law Group, P.A. The firm supports many charitable and civic causes by donating time and much needed capital to our community. Mr. Dellutri and the other attorneys in the firm routinely speak to students of all ages about various legal and societal issues.

Last modified: October 22, 2012