If you’re in serious debt, you may already understand that you can’t get out on your own. You would know because you’ve already tried for months or, more likely, years.

You may be in real financial trouble because of a job loss, a business downturn, a divorce, an illness in the family, or another serious problem. A strategic Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing may be your best bet for legitimate relief. But something is holding you back, and it’s worse than straight-up fear. It’s your pride.

Common objections to bankruptcy

You’re dying to get out from under the stress of debt, which has brought the accompanying phone harassment, lack of sleep, exhaustion, anxiety, and strain on your relationships. But there are reasons you don’t want to go the bankruptcy route:

  • It’s your credit, right? Won’t it be ruined for seven to 10 years? (Answer: No.)
  • Won’t you lose everything, like your home, your savings and your vehicle? (Probably not even close.)
  • Are you worried about your business or professional standing? Surely, everyone will find out and your reputation will be ruined. (Go to the next question.)
  • Is your pride getting in the way of the debt relief you need? You don’t want to look like a failure or seem irresponsible to your friends, neighbors or extended family.

If your main objection to bankruptcy boils down to the last choice, you may need help from a professional. Not a mental health professional (though most of us need that at some point) but a legal professional.

Your situation is unique

Our pride, which can be defined as a desire to always look good or feel like we’re in control, can be rooted in existential terror or stem from an inflated, twisted sense of self. But it can also come from a good place — a lifetime of hard work, our family honor, our legacy, our love for the people who rely on us. These notions are positive, of course, but they can derail us if we don’t look at them in context.

No two debt situations are alike. Talking with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can open up possibilities for your future, including a debt-free life. Don’t let pride stop you from getting the help you need.