Question: Dear Luise: I have recently gone through the miserable and demoralizing experience of having to file bankruptcy. I can’t say it was through “no fault of my own”, but there were also circumstances that conspired against me. This has been very hard for me to accept. I previously held a “dead-beat” view of people who took what looked to me like the easy way out. Consequently, I tried for a long time to avoid it. As a result, I sunk deeper and deeper under the weight of interest accumulating faster than I could reduce principle. I have to tell you that getting a clean slate was an incredibly uplifting experience for me. I would like to hear your view of this. Thank you, Edmond
Answer: Dear Edmond: Thank you for sending your question to www.MomResponds.com . The area of financial responsibility is one that offers many of us huge learning opportunities. It’s been my experience that those who misuse the bankruptcy option seldom have the kind of concerns that you reflect. It’s just an easy way out and a racket that is repeated, quite deliberately, every seven years. Debt management isn’t taught in most schools, any more than how to build your net worth is. Credit cards are much too easy to come by, and often we are raised in homes where our role models don’t teach financial integrity. In the adult world marriages fail, businesses collapse, health issue ensue…all kinds of disasters can befall the person who is overextended. The criterion to use is whether it was a learning experience for you or not. Do your spending and savings habits now indicate that you know a better way to proceed? Are you more apt to pay cash? Do you have savings for emergencies and a nest egg? If you are moving in those directions, than this has been a useful lesson for you. The bankruptcy law is there for those who can’t go on, and who must find relief to survive. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to it includes both the deliberately irresponsible and those who are willing to learn to manage their money in a better fashion in the future. It is quite clear that you belong to the later group. Take the “sticks and stones” approach to reproach…hold your head up high, and let the past *be* past.
To All Web Site Visitors: You’re welcome to enter your comments below, should you wish to make any.