Due to the downward turn of the economy in recent years, the bankruptcy courts have been inundated with people seeking relief from their financial burdens. There are tons of websites and books that offer how to legally obtain a financial fresh start. Bankruptcy lawyers will often offer a free consultation where they will instruct you of the legal steps by which to obtain a legal discharge of your debts, but who offers guidance on how to alleviate the emotional burden that filing bankruptcy often creates? Hopefully, this article will offer some advice on how to deal with the guilt, shame and embarrassment that filing for bankruptcy often causes.
Take Solace In The Fact That You Are Not Alone. Millions of people seek relief from bankruptcy courts every year. No matter what your circumstances or what led you to this financial predicament, you are surely not alone. There is not one explanation or set of circumstances that the lawyer, trustee or judge has not heard before. As unique as you feel your situation may be, it has undoubtedly been experienced by countless others who have traveled the path you are now on.
Most People You Encounter Will Not Know You Have Filed For Bankruptcy Unless You Tell Them. Though filing for bankruptcy is a matter of public record, and prospective employers who access your credit report will surely know about your financial matter, most people you encounter in the course of your daily life will never know you filed for bankruptcy unless you tell them. No one has the right to know details of your personal finances, including family and close friends. If you feel that sharing your experience will help to alleviate some of the negative feelings you have been experiencing in regards to your financial situation, by all means, tell them. However, if having others privy to this part of your life will only add to the feelings of shame and embarrassment, take comfort in the fact that you are not deceiving your loved ones, you are simply choosing not to share this deeply personal experience.
Focus Your Energies On The Positive Instead Of The Negative. Though filing for bankruptcy does severely impact your credit for a number of years, the recent state of the economy has somewhat lessened the impact. Purchasing a new car or even a house is not as distant in the future as it once was. While declaring bankruptcy once made many people cast a quick judgment, the thousands of good, hardworking, honest people being downsized and having trouble finding new jobs has made more people empathetic and understanding of those seeking bankruptcy relief. A much needed relief of certain financial obligations will surely give you an opportunity to rebuild your life. The months, and perhaps years, of worrying about paying your creditors every month and having enough money to buy the essentials for your family is now over. When the feelings of shame and guilt start to creep in, redirect your thinking to all the positive that has emerged from making this very difficult decision and let those feelings of relief and hope was over you instead.
Let The Bankruptcy Filing Be A Lesson Instead Of A Personal Failure. Whether you needed to file for bankruptcy due to the economy or fiscal irresponsibility, take what you can from the experience as a lesson. You truly may have had to seek a discharge from your debts through no fault of your own, but chances are there is a lesson in there somewhere. Even if the lesson is just that no one’s job is truly secure and therefore saving enough money in case of an unexpected loss of income is extremely important, that is a far more productive and beneficial train of thought than beating up on yourself for mistakes and lack of foresight in the past.
Seek Professional Help If Necessary. If it has been many months since you filed for bankruptcy and your discharge papers are signed, sealed and delivered, and you still have overwhelming feelings of shame or guilt, you may want to seek help from a trained professional. Being unable to move on from the experience will keep you stuck in the past instead of actively creating a more positive and secure future.