Bankruptcy has a bad reputation. People do all they can to avoid filing and even those who have never considered it assume that anyone associated with bankruptcy is shady or looking to take advantage of the financially insecure.
But those who discourage debtors from filing for bankruptcy often have an angle, too. It’s possible to make money off of someone afraid of filing for bankruptcy and all too often, it leads people down a more damaging road than just filing. Being scared to file for bankruptcy can hurt you even more than filing.
There are people out there preying on those who are struggling financially but frightened of filing for bankruptcy. They know there’s a bankruptcy stigma and they are willing to use it to their own benefit. Misunderstanding and fear over bankruptcy allow unscrupulous individuals to profit.
Of course, filing for bankruptcy isn’t an ideal situation. It’s not something you should aim to achieve and it should be seen as one of your last financial resorts. But it’s important not to view bankruptcy as the worst thing that can happen to you. It’s not the end of your financial life and it won’t ruin you.
It’s a tool to get you back on track financially.
Dealing with Bankruptcy Misinformation
The misinformation out there about bankruptcy is spread by those who stand to profit off of you being afraid to file.
That bankruptcy is the worst possible choice you could make is a myth perpetuated by debt settlement companies, creditors, and others who can make money off of your continued debt problems or who would lose money if you filed.
In many cases, their number one goal is to keep you paying toward your debt, regardless whether you ever pay it down or pay it off, and by filing for bankruptcy, you are stopping their money train in its tracks. It’s easy to see why they’d go to any lengths to prevent you from filing.
What are some of the tricks they use to convince you not to file for bankruptcy?
- They offer to help you pay your debts and avoid bankruptcy by negotiating a repayment plan. Sometimes this works, but more often than not, they’re only negotiating on their own behalf and you’re getting further and further into debt.
- They send the message that bankruptcy is for losers or for those who have been foolish with their money. The truth is everyone is at risk for financial hardship and those who choose to file often do so because of situations that were completely beyond their control.
- They tell you that bankruptcy will ruin you financially and you’ll never be able to buy a home, get a loan, or do anything else that “responsible” consumers do. Actually, though, bankruptcy can make these things possible again. Being in debt prevents you from having financial freedom, while bankruptcy makes it possible to work your way back to it.
Should You Live in Fear of Bankruptcy?
The simplest answer: no. There is no reason to be afraid of filing for bankruptcy. You shouldn’t make it one of your goals, but if you find yourself struggling financially, you should seriously consider whether bankruptcy will benefit you.
You need to view filing for bankruptcy as one of your viable options for resolving your financial struggles. Maybe it’s not right for you and you’ll opt to handle your situation differently. Or maybe it is the best option and moving forward sooner rather than later will save you money and frustration.
The key is to not let fear drive your choice. Learn as much as you can about bankruptcy and base your decision on factual information, not on being scared of what you’ve heard or read about bankruptcy.
If you’d like to learn more about filing for bankruptcy or you are ready to discuss your financial situation with someone who can help, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at (813)-254-5696.