I have a belief that creditors perpetuate the stigma that bankruptcy makes you a bad person because of their own self-interests. Does it make you a bad person if you want to protect your house? To protect your income so you can put food on your kid’s table? I think most everyone believes putting a roof over your head and having food available to eat is something that should be possible for everyone. I suspect if everyone knew the personal circumstances of individuals who filed bankruptcy that the stigma wouldn’t exist. Further, the history of the United States shows a long history of acceptance of bankruptcy as a reality.
When the United States Declaration of Independence was written, it included the phrase, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” If America was founded on the understanding that you have the right to pursue “happiness”, then it is clear there was the understanding some would fall short on that pursuit. For those unfortunate people that fall on bad times, The United States Constitution has long authorized Congress to enact “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.” I think the founders knew that for the US to work there had to be a mechanism such as bankruptcy for individuals to be relieved of their obligations when things didn’t go exactly as planned so they could move forward.
The guilt creditors make you feel should be pushed aside. A lot of good people have filed bankruptcy and are known for more than the bankruptcies they filed. Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Mark Twain, and many other notable individuals have filed for bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy doesn’t define those famous people and it won’t define you. Bankruptcy is small step in the journey of life that some need to take and it is oftentimes one people wish they’d taken sooner. If you’re struggling with debt consider bankruptcy because many other individuals before you have with positive results.
At the law offices of Andersen, Ellis & Shephard, we have represented thousands of individuals in consumer bankruptcy filings.