Bankruptcy and your emotions

09 Mar Bankruptcy and your emotions

For many people, the decision to file a personal bankruptcy case is deeply emotional. It’s not just a business decision. People think that filing bankruptcy is a personal reflection on themselves. All too many clients start to feel badly about themselves when considering bankruptcy. Financial distress sometimes leads to undesirable behavior. People may turn to solace in the wrong places, with the wrong people, with the wrong substances and the wrong actions. Don’t do that!!

We tell our clients that bankruptcy is a legal remedy. It is not a permanent condition.

You won’t go through the rest of your life wearing a scarlet B on your head. Your credit reports will start getting better every day after you file your bankruptcy case. No later than 10 years after your filing, they will be completely clear.

We counsel our clients to get rid of these sorts of emotions:

  • Fear
  • Self-loathing
  • Self-hatred
  • Dismay
  • Anger

We counsel our clients to consider themselves:

  • Courageous
  • Resolute
  • Dedicated
  • Principled
  • Honorable

Our clients are courageous because they are facing their problems head-on and dealing with them. They are resolute because they are willing to dedicate as much as five years of their disposable income in a chapter 13 plan to pay back some or even all of their debts. They are principled because they are frequently willing to reaffirm debts even though they are not required to do so. And they are honorable because they tell the truth and perform all of their obligations during the course of their bankruptcy case.

Remember – it’s the American Way that an honest debtor shall have a fresh start in bankruptcy.

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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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