Filing bankruptcy is the first step in a three-step process, which is something I’ve been saying for more than twenty years to my bankruptcy clients and which now I say in my Indiana bankruptcy blogs. Step two is saving money, and step three is rebuilding credit.

Oddly enough, stress relates to all three of these steps. Often, just filing bankruptcy can provide immediate stress relief. Some of that relief comes because, when people face up to their problems instead of trying to avoid them, they are able to let go of negative feelings and move on with their lives. From a legal standpoint, because of bankruptcy’s “automatic stay”, filing puts an immediate halt to the legal proceedings and collection efforts which have typically been such a big source of the stress. Whew!

The Chicago Tribune writes, “In this economy, bankruptcy may be an answer for many.” In Newsweek a couple of months ago, financial journalist Jane Bryant Quinn talks about “the case for walking away, saying that “if you’re reaching the end of your rope, don’t try to hold on. Save what you can…..go bankrupt in 2009.”

Stress in the workplace is a subject that has gained the attention of many of the world’s major employers. In the United Kingdom, studies revealed that stress was the trigger for 70% of doctor visits. In Japan, the threat of stress is perceived so strongly, they have a word for sudden death from overwork – “karoushi”.

As a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana for so many years, I’ve learned something very interesting about stress – most people file bankruptcy not to get rid of debt, but to get rid of stress! And, while I’ve often blogged about the fact that job layoffs are one of the three leading causes of bankruptcy (along with divorce and medical bills), the interesting thing I’ve found is that stress relief helps increase job security!

How can that be? Stress in the workplace reduces productivity, hurting the performance of the brain in memory, concentration, and learning. Once some of the pressure is relieved, people bring less stress to work each day, life starts to look more hopeful, and their superiors notice they’ve become more cheerful to be around – and more productive in their work! Their job security may actually be enhanced!

No, the job markets won’t have changed. “As a result of globalization, outsourcing, contracting, downsizing, recession, and even natural disasters, job security can seem like a thing of the past,” writes But now, you’re “dealing with the feeling”, more focused on your future, better prepared to face whatever comes.