Bankruptcy: The Hard Choice

Wow, it seems like it was yesterday when I nervously sat down with my first clients to see if I could help them through their financial crisis. As I asked the young couple questions about their incomes, I couldn't help but reflect on my own financial issue. I had $35,000 worth of student loans to pay off, and owed my Grandmother months of rent money, plus I only had one pair of worn in "suit shoes." As they sat before me sharing their story of credit card trouble I realized that I was in worse shape than them! After carefully going over their income and expenses, it turned out that filing a bankruptcy was not in their best interest. As much as I wanted, no, needed, a paying client, bankruptcy simply was not worth it for them. They both had solid jobs, and with a little budgeting they had the ability to fix their financial issue without resorting to filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I learned many things that day.

I learned that it takes a lot of courage to realize that you need to seek help for your finances. Finances are a private affair; if you're meeting the Queen of England you wouldn't say, "Your Majesty, how much do you make and do you have any credit card balances?" Your financial status is only important to you and advertisers. I understand that there is a certain level of defeatism that you feel when first seeking out help, but I am here to assure you, after 30 years and thousands of client interviews, what you are really feeling is the effort it takes to make a hard decision. You are not a loser because you haven't given up; only winners keep trying.

Yes, it can be embarrassing, but no hospital in America has a physician on staff that treats that fleeting feeling. Yes, it has a social stigma, so try to adopt the mindset of "what other people think of me is none of my business!" You called me because your world is falling apart and you want help. Asking for help is a sure sign of intelligence and courage.

The wisdom of time has shown me that nearly everyone who walks through my door has the courage and intelligence to fix a problem that will severely affect their standard of living. It is not important how you got to my door. It is only important how you exit it. I have been tinkering with a time machine in my basement for years now, and no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, it just will not work. If it did, I would go back in time with the mega millions lotto numbers and you would be reading someone else's blog. As much as we'd like to, we cannot turn back the clock and change the choices we've made, we can only move forward. Making the decision to file is difficult without guidance. No one fix fits everyone. Individuals have problems unique to their personal experiences, which demands custom advice. I am here to give you that advice.

Deciding to file a bankruptcy isn't hard; deciding to seek help is. I have never lost the respect and admiration for the clients who seek my advice. They have overcome all of the emotional and social obstacles before them and then freely reveal some of their deepest secrets and fears. I understand the courage necessary to face your problems head on. The law and process of filing a bankruptcy can seem daunting, but you won't be doing it alone. I am glad to play a part in the process.

Many "yesterdays" have passed, and I have seen countless people with serious financial trouble that needed my help filing a bankruptcy. Even after 30 years of client interviews I still learn from every experience. The lesson that always learned is that making a hard choice to file bankruptcy can appear to be the most difficult thing to do, but once made, it can also be the most liberating.

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