• Jovanna Bearden

Am I a Bad Person for Filing a Bankruptcy?

I have been helping people file for bankruptcy since I was a law student, way back in 2006. Since that time the number 1 question I get asked is not a technical question about bankruptcies, but whether the person filing is somehow bad for needing a bankruptcy. There are a few things I have to say in response to this.


First: I have never met a person who was in the position of needing a bankruptcy that was doing so for an evil purpose. People filing for bankruptcy are in a hard place, and usually not of their making. Loss of income due to sickness, downsizing at work or an unfortunate divorce are the most frequent reasons I come across. Not to mention the people who are struggling financially after being taken advantage of by installment lenders, banks, and mortgage companies. Even if you are telling yourself you should have known better, that doesn’t mean you are a bad person. It just means you need help getting out of this situation so you can learn and grow and become stronger.


Second: Bankruptcy is provided for by federal law! It’s in the Constitution! How can you be doing something bad or evil by filing for bankruptcy if our Founding Fathers thought it was so important that it needed to be part of the foundation of our government? Bankruptcy is a legal tool that helps people get a fresh start. If you need that tool, use it! And don’t feel bad for using the laws that are in place to help you!


Third: The idea of Bankruptcy goes back to the Bible! The Jews were to forgive debts and release slaves every 7 years. Bankruptcy is something that human society has recognized and used for thousands of years. This isn’t a unique situation you find yourself in, but part of human life that many, many people have gone through. So don’t feel bad or evil for doing something that has become a part of human society!


I hope that these thoughts help you feel better about the idea of filing a bankruptcy, and encourage you to look into whether it is a good option for you in your situation.


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