Bankruptcy: Overcoming the Social Stigma

Some people choose to suffer through a debilitating financial situation rather than seek the perfectly legal remedy of bankruptcy – simply because of the anticipated social ramifications of doing so. Financial woes are indiscriminate across all socio-economic lines, rich or poor, many people find themselves unable to meet their financial obligations.

  • The rising cost of health-related expenses are such that an unexpected medical emergency or catastrophic illnesses have the propensity to send anyone into financial ruin.
  • Fickle economic times have caused many to lose their jobs while also preventing them from securing other employment.
  • The long-term effect of the loss of income causes many to get behind on their mortgages and other monthly expenditures.
  • Although the real estate market is recovering in many areas of the country, others are under the burden of under-valued real estate that was purchased at once premium dollar amounts.

All these scenarios put unprepared consumers at risk of having not having enough cash coming in to pay their way each month.

Living with the strain of financial stress causes mental, physical and emotional damage. However, it need not cause social agony as well. Often, the social and emotional stigmas associated with bankruptcy are self-inflicted. We think ill of ourselves, so we project that others are doing so as well.

Here’s the truth: while bankruptcy proceedings are matters of public record, most people don’t actively seek out that information for their own enjoyment. If you don’t tell your friends and neighbors you filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, no one will know! The matter can often be a private as the participant chooses it to be.

On the other hand, the financial effect of bankruptcy is real. On the upside, you’ll likely wipe out outstanding debt or at least put a plan in place to pay it back. Also, you’ll be on your way to a fresh financial start. That being said, your credit score will obviously take a hit and you will have to find a way to make more or spend less going forward.

One highlight: research shows that many have still received applications for credit cards though, even immediately following filing. This is because, without debt, your income-to-debt ratio looks better. However, be forewarned that those early credit card applications will likely come with very high interest rates. Tread lightly or you may find yourself back in debt.

If debts are mounting, don’t suffer in silence. Call the legal professionals at the Law Office of Joel R. Spivack, Esq. With years of experience assisting the residents of South New Jersey, we can help you get back financial peace of mind.

We are here to help you.

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We are licensed to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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