You are in debt. Too much debt. Month after month things grind along but the debt remains. Maybe some of your debts have been sold to aggressive debt collectors. Along with the debt came other problems like depression, marital problems, or worse. Something needs to change. You’ve looked online and found debt relief services with big promises that just seem fishy. Maybe you found the scam alert from the Federal Trade Commission about these companies. At some point you consider bankruptcy, but you don’t want to file bankruptcy. It’s bad for your credit, and it feels like stealing. People often tell me, “I wasn’t raised this way.” My usual reply is, “your current financial situation is not your identity as a person.” At this point, we need to discuss the reason we, as a society, have bankruptcy. The purpose of bankruptcy is to give people a second chance. Second chances benefit individuals and society in many ways.
Second chances fuel innovation. What would the world be like without Disneyland? You might be surprised to learn Walt Disney’s first company, Laugh-O-Grams, went bankrupt in 1922. Walt Disney’s financial struggles continued and he was nearly bankrupt in 1937 prior to the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Of course, Walt Disney found immense success when he opened Disneyland in 1955 and the rest, as they say, is history. But Walt Disney is far from the only example. Milton Hershey filed bankruptcy for his business in 1882 and again in 1886 before forming the Hershey Chocolate Company. Henry Ford filed bankruptcy in 1903 before forming the Ford Motor Company. And the list goes on.
As a married man, I can tell you that marriage is not easy. Financial problems put stress on a marriage. Maybe that stress is buried deep waiting to erupt, or maybe it’s at the heart of every argument. Most people do not want to get divorced but at some point they realize the fighting and anger has to stop. Divorce does not eliminate debts problems, it usually makes things worse because you are required to pay court fees, attorney fees, and take time off work to go to court. Bankruptcy has saved many marriages, and it might save yours.
The cost of medical care has been increasing in the U.S. for the past 40 years. Studies have shown medical bills are a triggering event for bankruptcy. Medical care is expensive for those with good health insurance and crazy expensive for those without insurance. Medical issues can be intertwined with debt problems in several ways. A catastrophic illness can leave you unable to work causing a reduction in income. Medical bills alone can be the financial problem. Worse yet, a reduction in income can be coupled with unexpected medical bills. Finally, the stress of existing debt may cause depression or other health problems.
In conclusion, bankruptcy is not immoral if you are unable to pay your bills. In many cases a second chance is the best thing for you as well as society.
At the Law Office of Michael Primus we have helped thousands of clients get out of debt, stop wage garnishments, and start fresh through bankruptcy. If you live in Contra Costa, Alameda or Solano counties and have debt problems, contact us for a free in-office consultation. We have offices in Walnut Creek, Antioch, and Hercules.