If you are drowning in debt and your self-esteem and motivation are at their lowest, you are not alone. The truth is, facing unpayable debts can be a terrifying and stressful experience for many people. Anxiety and depression are common.
Despite everyone’s constitutional right to file for bankruptcy, there are still many lingering myths and stigmas that can keep debtors down throughout the process. To help overcome these feelings, it can be helpful to shift your perspective on things.
There are many reasons why a person might have debt. While some reasons might reflect personal choices like poor money management, others do not. For example, significant consumer debt in the U.S. reflects medical emergencies. Regardless, your reasons for debt do not define your worth.
At the end of the day, bankruptcy is one of your constitutional protections. It protects you, the consumer, not the creditors to whom you owe money. When you think about the logic of the situation, it makes sense why they would not encourage you to file; it is not in their favor.
For consumers who are considering bankruptcy, debt can feel crushing. Sometimes, it can feel like failing. While you may be struggling right now, filing for bankruptcy can give you the opportunity to both start over as well as increase your knowledge about personal finances and budgeting.
Undeniably, facing bankruptcy can be challenging, but changing your perspective can end up changing your entire situation.
A financial situation leading to bankruptcy could happen to any household faced with unexpected medical costs or a sudden loss of income. Whether used to seek relief from overwhelming consumer debts or to stave off foreclosure, bankruptcy may offer a workable path forward.
Health care debt is a common cause of bankruptcy; as noted by the American Journal of Public Health, medical bills contributed to nearly 67% of American bankruptcies in 2019. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 19% of American households were unable to pay their medical bills in 2017. Households with children or residing in southern states were more likely to experience unmanageable medical debt.
Although many employers provide health insurance, out-of-pocket expenses and co-pays add up quickly. If an individual needs time off to recover or care for an ill family member, the loss of income could have a significantly negative effect on a household’s ability to manage a budget.
Financial hardships generally begin when a household can no longer meet its normal monthly expenses. While attempting to cover basic necessities, the overwhelming burden could take a painful toll on a family’s emotional and mental well-being.
As described in an opinion article in The Chattanoogan.com submitted by a U.S. district judge, the bankruptcy court acts as a “court of second chances” for individuals faced with unmanageable debts. Individuals often file petitions because of an economic downturn or financial issues they had no control over.
Many debtors begin to consider bankruptcy for relief after receiving phone calls and letters from collection agents threatening legal action. Filing a petition may stop collection activity and qualify for a discharge of unpaid consumer debts including medical bills.