Chapter 13 bankruptcy hearing paper with gavel on top.

Time to File for Bankruptcy? Part I – Don’t Bankrupt Your Health

There’s no “right” time to file because everyone is different, and so is their situation. There are guidelines to help you decide and we’ll talk about them in this and following blog posts. This post is about your health because it’s more important than your money.

Ask yourself these questions: Do you feel like debt is ruining your life? Are you often worried about foreclosure or “drowning in debt?” Have fruitless attempts at debt forgiveness or credit relief left you feeling hopeless? Do you lie awake at night worrying about foreclosure, garnishment or other drastic actions? When the phone rings, do you feel a strong negative reaction at the prospect of that call being from a debt collector? Do you want to cry when you sit down to figure your bills? Do you not get your mail out of the box because of the debt collection notices?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be time to consider filing for bankruptcy. Why? Depression, anxiety and many other emotional and mental health issues are common when people are deep in debt, and the thought of bankruptcy gives those feelings even more weight. The thought of having a foreclosure on your home and losing your equity is enough to upset anyone. Filing can help you get your life back in order and give you some peace emotionally and financially.

Beyond the stress you feel from this, adding depression or anxiety into the mix can make digging out of a financial hole even harder than it already is – even impossible for some. Filing for bankruptcy can be tough, but bearing that weight every single day with no vision of relief is worse. That kind of stress drags you down more than filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Constant stress often causes physical complications that, due to doctor’s bills, prescriptions and the like, can make your financial situation worse and the debt seem more enormous. There are many stories of people becoming so emotionally affected by their debt or a looming foreclosure that they lost time at work, or were let go because the burden hindered their job performance.

What’s worse is that this stress has led many people to alcohol, gambling drugs or risky behaviors; this can lead to addictions and make a bad situation worse. Some fall into a hole they never climb out of.

This stress is crafty: It creeps up on you while you’re distracted by your financial problems. Few people go bankrupt overnight – it usually happens over a period of months or years. It creeps up on you and, little by little, builds every time you have to deal with your debt. Just as a dripping faucet can quietly overflow a sink, the constant drip, drip, drip of bad news and worse feelings adds up. As each bit of financial bad news arrives, the emotional issues grow until one day you realize that you feel horrible emotionally and maybe physically, too.

You’re not alone – anyone can be in this situation and millions have been. Debt and bankruptcy have been around since the dawn of civilized man. As bankruptcy attorneys, we’ll be the first to tell you that the decision to file is hard but, once you have, many people find a relief they never expected.  For some clients receiving a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge is the turning over a new leaf.

So, are you sick and tired of feeling scared, depressed, anxious or angry about your debt? If you want to discuss your financial options click here for how to contact us. Many of our clients are surprised by how well things turn out. We’re not promising to fix everything for you, but we can certainly help you get some relief and get back into your life with a smile.