Are you afraid of bankruptcy?

08 Mar Are you afraid of bankruptcy?

People tell me that they are afraid of filing for bankruptcy. Fear of the unknown is a reasonable emotion. I am afraid of the dentist. I’m afraid of the pain from the drilling. I am afraid that the shot will hurt. I am afraid that something will go wrong. Then again, I’m just as afraid of the consequences of not taking care of my teeth. I could lose a tooth. I could suffer an infection. The tooth could become abscessed. I could die. So I go to the dentist. And you know what?

It’s not as bad as I expected.

Clients tell me all the time that their bankruptcy is not as bad as they expected.

Here are some things which happen much more easily than clients imagine:

  • We can help you take your disorganized records and get them in shape for your filing
  • We’ve interviewed thousands of people just like you – so we know how to ask you the right questions.
  • We know the questions the Trustee will ask you – so we prepare you to avoid surprises
  • Your meeting of creditors will only take a few minutes
  • The overwhelming majority of cases are concluded shortly after the meeting of creditors
  • You can take your credit counseling and financial management courses in the privacy of your home.
  • We’ve learned what can go wrong and work very hard to keep things from going wrong.

Think about this. If you don’t file your bankruptcy case, here’s what definitely will happen:

  • You will still owe bills you can’t pay
  • Interest will accrue on credit card bills at rates up to 29% and even more
  • You will suffer lawsuits and judgments
  • After lawsuits and judgments, your wages can be garnished to satisfy the judgments
  • It will take you many years to dig your way out of your financial mess
  • You will continue to get dunning letters and telephone calls.

If you’re going to be afraid, be afraid of not filing bankruptcy. You’ll find that filing bankruptcy is not even as hard as going to the dentist.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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