Bankruptcy Attorney | We all have preconceived ideas about consumer bankruptcy, but the most common stereotype of bankruptcy doesn’t stir up a lot of sympathy for most of us. We picture a young, reckless American adult, privileged and unschooled in smart spending and saving, who has racked up credit card debt through frivolous living (picture: vacations, fancy cars, a mortgage they can’t afford) who is suddenly reduced to eating Ramen noodles, pawning valuables, and asking friends to foot the bill at restaurants. We see their demise and think, well, that serves you right.
Only a handful of bankruptcies actually look like this. Surprised? Don’t be. The past decade has involved plenty of ups and downs in the U.S. economy, making Americans seasick as they struggle to get a hold of their finances in turbulent times. As a result, the face of bankruptcy has changed quite a bit. While it’s true that the stereotype of the “irresponsible spender” characterizes the bankruptcy field, let’s get one thing straight: more factors than irresponsible spending drive people to bankruptcy.
There are quite a few myths reinforced by years of media and movies into the American mind that simply are not true, especially now that bankruptcy is shifting in America.
Myth #1: Only irresponsible spenders file bankruptcy.
As I just pointed out, times are changing, and the economy has forced the hands of unlikely people to declare bankruptcy. Nowadays, bankruptcy hits normal families with normal spending habits just as often as it hits the reckless spenders among us. In fact, in the thousands of bankruptcy cases I’ve filed, it’s actually quite rare that I run across “reckless spenders”. Most clients simply got blindsided by job loss or unforeseen medical or other expenses.
For many people, filing bankruptcy is a desperate reach for a lifesaver at the mercy of expensive healthcare costs due to illness or injury, student debt, divorce proceedings, or just the rising costs of life: food, housing, education, etc. Job loss, too, plays a role in bankruptcy.
Myth #2: It’s nearly impossible to recover financially from bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is our nation’s way of protecting the debtor and providing a route to financial freedom. It is the path to recovery! Of course, the way out is through sound and smart habits: using credit cards wisely, ensuring that your credit is being reported back to the credit bureau, saving, and paying bills on time. Even in a tough financial climate, it is possible to regain a footing and get out of the nightmare of debt. See my pages about life after bankruptcy for more information.
Our office can assist you in determining whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you, and which chapter under the Bankruptcy Code would provide you with the most relief. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Bakersfield bankruptcy attorney about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kern County, please call our office today at 661-888-4335 .v