Even though more than one million Americans file bankruptcy each year, there’s a myth floating around that bankruptcy is for deadbeats. With me being a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana, I see hundreds of different people in my office every month, and I can certainly attest to how big a myth that is! Still, I like to read what other bankruptcy attorneys from other states are saying about their bankruptcy clients.
One article I read recently comes from a Pennsylvania attorney named Mr. Otto. Otto talks about all the negative feelings that debtors tend to have about themselves when it comes to using bankruptcy services. Some of these negative feelings are caused by the real financial problems people are facing, but very often the bulk of the negativity comes from this myth about being a deadbeat.
In fact, many people have been responsibly handling their money for many, many years, and then – boom! An extended illness or a layoff just came in and wrecked all their carefully-laid plans. Now they’ve got creditors making their lives miserable, and they themselves are letting negative self-talk and blame make their own lives even worse.
Mr. Otto suggests that debtors deal directly with their own feelings about bankruptcy, rather than repressing them. Once a person has faced up to his own feelings, he can be ready to let go of those feelings and move on with the rest of his life. One of the main things he advises is to stop laying blame – stop blaming others, and most important, stop blaming yourself, he says. Have self-compassion, he tells people going through a bankruptcy.
You know, that might just be good advice for everybody!