Financial struggles can carry an embarrassing stigma that most of us would like to avoid. To some people, filing for bankruptcy is a horrifying idea that would make them look bad and seem irresponsible or weak in the eyes of their friends; to others, the difficulty is a more subtle sense of shame and guilt.
But what if bankruptcy really is a good idea in your case? What if your debt problem could be dealt with decisively by legally getting rid of a lot of it, paying it off over time, or restructuring it? What if you could save your house or another important asset?
What is actually best for you and your family? How concerned should you be about what others think? These are important questions to consider if you are a good candidate for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Debt can come from many sources
Many consumers wind up in debt because of circumstances that are largely out of their control. Common causes of serious debt are divorce, job loss and illness. If your friend doesn’t understand the difficulties you’ve faced, it may be time to weigh the value of that friendship.
Peer pressure goes both ways
Here’s the ironic thing about some debts: They come from us trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” yet the Joneses can look down on us when we run into hard times. Millions of people buy homes and vehicles (and clothes and nearly everything else, for that matter) that they can’t afford, in order to fit in with a group of people.
Did peer pressure cause some of your debt? If so, remember that when you are deciding how to deal with it.
Think long term
In the short term, you might feel embarrassed about filing bankruptcy. Perhaps you’ll struggle with feelings of failure or a desire to hide the bankruptcy from friends or family. But if you get out of debt, you’re likely to much happier and far less stressed out, which are great things for any relationship.
Bankruptcy may or may not be right for you. If you feel stuck in debt, the advice of a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can be very helpful.
Embarrassment and shame are common feelings, but they shouldn’t drive your important life decisions. Do what is best for you in the long run.