Finances should be the determining factor when deciding to file for bankruptcy. Doing it sooner rather than later can often save you a great deal of money and time, and end with you in a better position. Waiting until you definitely need to, on the other hand, can prevent you from going through bankruptcy when you could still have found your way back to financial stability.
It’s a balancing act that requires an ability to weigh burden, negotiate terms, and understand the terms of bankruptcy law. However, the emotional aspect of the decision more often than not determines whether to, and when to, file for bankruptcy. That is not surprising, as beyond the financial considerations, filing bankruptcy comes with a high emotional cost.
Being in debt is stressful, without a doubt. Money worries are often cited as the primary cause of unhappiness. By the time most people are even considering filing for bankruptcy, they have been dealing with creditors for months or even years. Their phone is ringing with the calls of debt collectors, and there is a pile of overdue notices and letters demanding payment on their tables.
Many people delay filing, even with all of the problems and stress, because bankruptcy is often seen as being worse. You end up surrendering your assets, frequently, and with your credit ruined for years, or longer. The process can be drawn out and difficult.
More than that, bankruptcy has an unfortunate stigma attached to it. The implication, when you are forced to go through bankruptcy, is that you are unable or unwilling to manage your money responsibly. There is also the concern that your bankruptcy will follow you, beyond the consequences to your credit rating, into every banker’s office and house showing.
The reality is, though, that bankruptcy is designed to relieve the stress and pressure you feel as the result of financial problems. Unpaid debts are like unresolved threats, hanging over your head. Bankruptcy removes those threats, allowing you to move forward free and clear.
While there are lingering consequences to credit, paying bills on time and managing money will improve your rating. All of this will be made easier by the removal of all the debts that you had been unable to pay. And after a few years, the bankruptcy will disappear from your credit report. It cannot follow you further than that.
Relationships In Bankruptcy
Money issues are also a primary cause of relationship problems, including being frequently cited in divorce. Arguments, recriminations, and blame are all common problems when debt piles up. When you approach filing for bankruptcy, it is understandable for partners to find reasons why one or the other is primarily responsible.
The truth is, both of you probably share some of the blame. Bankruptcy can clear the air between a couple facing financial difficulties, providing some resolution to arguments and ending a lot of the stress that results from debt. Accept that you’ve found yourself in debt, whether through poor decision, bad luck, or necessity, and that the next step involves you asking for help.
Things get even harder if only one of you is filing. When only one of a married couple is filing, both still have to provide financial records. The court will also want to know why both of you aren’t filing. If you aren’t married, there can still be issues, such as commonly owned property. However, there are methods of dealing with all of these issues.
Talk To Someone
Most people don’t want to discuss their bankruptcy, which is understandable. It’s treated as a shameful thing that should be hidden. But, frequently help may be required. Family and friends will often understand, particularly if the bankruptcy is due to medical debt or similar problems. They may be a source of financial aid.
However, they can help in other ways that may be even more useful. They can provide emotional support, and someone to talk to. Your immediate family will be just as stressed as you, and may not be best placed to help you. Talking with people who are not directly affected can provide people who can support you, and an outside perspective on the issues that are troubling you.
While filing for bankruptcy is a stressful, emotionally draining event in anyone’s life, it offers something positive: closure. Unlike struggling with debt for years, sinking deeper while trying to stay current with bills, bankruptcy provides a way to stop struggling, and a new start. After bankruptcy, there are some negative effects. But those fade over time.
Ultimately, bankruptcy gives you the opportunity to deal with the source of your stress, and live a financial stable, and, therefore, happier, life.