Although bankruptcy can help you eliminate financial stress from your life in the long term, filing for bankruptcy inevitably causes emotional stress both during the process and in the aftermath. It is important to deal with the stress head on and acknowledge that while it is a natural reaction, you should not feel overly worried about the process.
Many stressors related to bankruptcy are caused by simple false assumptions. People worry that they have too much debt for bankruptcy to help, that family will be ashamed of them, or that their finances, especially their credit score, will be permanently destroyed. However, none of these things are true. There are plenty of rumors, old wives tales, and urban legends about what bankruptcy is, does, or will do, and you should speak with a bankruptcy attorney first before you believe, and continue to stress out, about them.
Bankruptcy is an option that can be made to work no matter how much debt you have, and the bankruptcy will be erased from your credit score after 7-10 years. It is always something that you can come back from, especially if you make good decisions after the bankruptcy is discharged. These false assumptions hurt people and make it even more difficult to file for bankruptcy. In order to best deal with the stress of bankruptcy, you need to make sure that you have all the facts. At Luftman, Heck, and Associates, the first thing we do with potential clients is find out what preconceptions they may have about bankruptcy to help you realize which are true and which are not. Having experienced Cleveland bankruptcy lawyers work with you can alleviate your fears and help you through the process.
People hear horror stories about bankruptcy on the news and from acquaintances and they start to fear overblown or unlikely problems. We make sure to take away false assumptions, so the stress of bankruptcy is minimized. Furthermore, we have a bankruptcy professor on staff, so we are able to help our clients develop a post-bankruptcy plan, so that they both know what to expect in the future and are able to assure that they will not have the same financial issues again.
Talking to Family Members about Bankruptcy
Another major cause of stress for people filing for bankruptcy is related to family. People fear that family or friends will judge the decision or they worry that they will no longer be able to provide for the needs of the family. These stressors are often the hardest to deal with and at LHA we try to help mitigate these stressors as much as possible. The following are five things that you should start doing right now in order to help minimize family stress related to bankruptcy.
- Open honest lines of communication with your spouse and children. They may have questions or be worried just like you. By opening the lines of communication, you assure that no one is in the dark about the process and everyone has realistic expectations for the process. With your spouse in particular, you need to give detailed facts about the challenges that you face as a couple.
- Be prepared for lifestyle adjustments. Although bankruptcy affects each family differently and much of the financial stress of debt can be eliminated by bankruptcy, most families will have to adjust. Do so together and be honest about the inherent challenges.
- Don’t blame each other. Blame does not help anyone with the stress of bankruptcy. You should be making plans together about how to move forward financially. Leave blame in the past. It will only create more stress and anger.
- Don’t let bankruptcy define you individually or as a family. Recognize that your personal worth is not the same thing as your financial net worth. Many people get overwhelmed by debt, but it does not make you a bad person. Work together as a family and with your bankruptcy lawyer to accomplish small financial goals and move forward. Talk about the difficulties of the situation with someone at LHA, each other, or a counselor, and then learn to let them go.
- Take a break and treat yourself now and then. Remember that in order to deal with stress, you need to relax. It is ok to treat yourself while you are filing for bankruptcy. Just try to find treats that are cheap or free. You would be surprised how nice a relaxing day in the park not thinking about money can be as a family.
How Cleveland Bankruptcy Lawyers at Luftman Heck Can Help
If you do these things, your family will get through bankruptcy proceedings much better. Just be sure to be honest with yourself, and each other. If you have found yourself in unmanageable debt, but are still hesitant to file for bankruptcy, come discuss it with us at Luftman, Heck, and Associates for a free consultation with one of our Cleveland bankruptcy lawyers. You can reach us at (216) 586-6600, 24/7. Don’t let your debt ruin your life. There is a way out. Let us help.