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The bankruptcy stigma and social pressure

Many people have strong opinions about bankruptcy and it does, however unfairly, come with a negative stigma.

In the real world, this stigma probably does not actually impact you in any way. If you didn’t care what your neighbor, co-worker, or father-in-law thought, you could just move forward with the best financial option for you.

However, for a lot of people, the stigma still stands in the way. They worry that people will think they’ve failed in some fashion or that they’re looking for an easy way out. Even when all signs point to bankruptcy, they’ll keep pressing on and ignoring it because they are just worried about their reputation.

Others put pressure on themselves. For example, you know that you signed that credit card agreement. You don’t like how it makes you feel not to carry through with that obligation.

What’s important is to try to think about bankruptcy rationally and objectively, rather than emotionally. Consider the potential ways that it can help you, not what your friends and family will think. Don’t worry as much about the way you’ll feel if you can’t pay your bills as the reality: You can’t pay. It happens. The reasons — a medical emergency, the loss of a job — may even be entirely out of your hands.

If you do think that bankruptcy is objectively an option you would be wise to consider, be sure you understand all of the options you have and how the legal process works. The more you learn, the more you will see how it can realistically impact your life moving forward.

Source: The Balance, “Bankruptcy Still Carries Stigmas (But It Shouldn’t),” David Haynes, accessed June 01, 2017

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