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Guilt, Shame and Bankruptcy Protection

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”


Though financial matters are often seen as cold, calculating or rational, the reality is that emotions are often interwoven with many money decisions. This is never truer than when discussing filing for bankruptcy. Though it may seem like a clear-cut financial question, a matter of dollars and cents, these decisions can result in tremendous anxiety, guilt and even shame. Many people feel guilty about considering filing for bankruptcy and begin to believe they are trapped by the guilt. Today we explore the feelings of guilt surrounding bankruptcy that many people struggle with and the danger of letting these feelings dictate your choices.


crying Charlotte Chapter 7 Attorney Mecklenburg Debt LawyerIs it necessary?


The first thing to consider when worrying about the guilt associated with a bankruptcy filing is whether the filing is necessary. If you’re simply filing because you got tired of paying your bills or to purposely stick the lender with the bad debt, there may be more reason to worry about your motives. This, however, is almost never the case. Most people considering bankruptcy are truly in desperate need of help. If you’re drowning in a sea of debt, bankruptcy can be the life raft you need and there’s no reason to feel guilty about that.


What caused the debt?


Something else to consider is whether the reason for the bankruptcy is something that was within your control or because of external forces. For instance, was the bankruptcy the result of a sudden illness or job loss? If so, there’s no reason to feel guilty over something you have absolutely no control over. It is very challenging for most people to be fully prepared and financially secure for an unanticipated hardship. Even if your financial trouble was due to mismanagement or overspending, chances are you’ve learned an incredibly powerful lesson and will not repeat these mistakes in the future.




A common concern that people considering filing for bankruptcy have is that it’s a sign of bad morals to fail to repay a debt given that you gave the person or company your word that you were good for the money. The problem with this logic is that it implies that individuals are supposed to have morals while companies are not. Lenders are free to stick debtors with punitive fees, astronomical interest rates and penalties or overdraft charges. Payday lenders, rent-to-own companies and pawnshops are industries that exist and thrive off the backs of the poor and those in bad circumstances. These companies would have no problem, and would waste no time, with filing for bankruptcy to protect their interests and the interests of their shareholders, yet individuals are supposed to fret about the morality of such a decision. The reality is that the deck is stacked against individuals and, given the uneven playing field, looking out for your family’s best interest is perfectly moral.


In the end, the clear answer is that most people have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about considering filing for bankruptcy. You’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve committed no crime or infraction. You’re simply in a bad financial spot and need help getting out. Remember, you can still repay a lender down the road should you feel guilty, nothing prevents you from doing so. Bankruptcy simply eliminates the legal requirement that you repay your debts, giving you the breathing room you need to live your life.


If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.


About the Author

Kyle Frost Bankruptcy Lawyer Student loan attorneyKyle Frost joined Arnold & Smith, PLLC in 2013 where he focuses his practice on all aspects of civil litigation and bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Mr. Frost attended the University at Albany on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with a double major in Political Science and Sociology.  He went on to attended Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Following college, Mr. Frost spent over a year teaching English in South Korea. He worked in a private school in Seoul developing curriculum, English programs, and educating both children and adults that were interested in learning a new language.

In his spare time, Mr. Frost enjoys homebrewing, fishing, and travelling.







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