The bankruptcy guilt

I have encountered many different types of clients over the years.  There’s one thing that most have in common.  They feel an immense guilt about filing bankruptcy.  Some people even feel guilty about entering an attorney’s office just to DISCUSS bankruptcy.  90% of the time, there is a perfectly valid reason for filing bankruptcy – maybe 10% of those that file are doing it for fraudulent reasons and they should feel guilty about it.  But it’s the 90% that wind of feeling bad for doing something that is legal – filing bankruptcy.

How did things get this way?

Creditors have done a great job convincing people that they are worthless if they cannot pay back the money they borrowed.  What the creditors don’t tell you is that they KNOW they lent you money and were willing to take the RISK that you wouldn’t be able to pay it back.  The creditors are in the business of lending money.  If enough people pay back the money they borrowed, the creditor can post a profit.  When have you ever heard of a credit card company filing bankruptcy because people weren’t paying their monthly credit card payments?  NEVER!   The creditors are making lots of money and if you have trouble making your monthly payments, they will SHAME you into making them.

Here’s the thing:  I’ve seen clients with brain cancer, heart problems, or disabled from a freak work accident.  These are circumstances that will change a person’s life.  For some, it means no longer being able to pay the bills.  And it breaks my heart to see them feel so guilty about filing bankruptcy. The truth is that they will never be able to fully pay their debt back.  I wish I had the power to release people from their guilty feelings, but I don’t.  I do my best to comfort and console.  I strive to be a great bankruptcy lawyer and to help people as best I can during the bankruptcy process.