While perusing aol.com this morning (yes, I am ashamed to admit that is my go-to site for world news in 5 minutes or less), I stumbled across a pertinent editorial entitled: Life After Bankruptcy – 5 Steps to Rebuilding Your Credit, Finances, and Emotions. This was my reaction:
Finally, people are starting to appreciate the emotional aspect of financial concerns and, in particular, filing for bankruptcy protection. According to the article, the first step towards a successful life after bankruptcy involves letting go of guilt and shame. A recent survey from FindLaw (Legal Marketing Gurus) shows that 13% of the adult population – that is 1 in 8 adult Americans – have considered filing for bankruptcy.
An important point to understand is that “beating yourself up about your predicament won’t make your situation any better. In fact, succumbing to a steady stream of negative emotions about your bankruptcy can even be harmful to you by preventing you from moving forward in a positive way.”
My advice to clients is simple: put your past behind you and focus on improving your future. There is no need to dwell on past decisions that cannot be changed. However, that is not to say you should simply ignore past regrets. In many cases, there are important lessons to be learned from them.
Once the dust has settled, I actually recommend taking some time to reflect on your past experiences and ask yourself a few important questions. “How did I get here? What could I have done differently? And what have I learned from all of this?”
As a bankruptcy lawyer in Phoenix, I have noticed a common trend among most consumer bankruptcy cases I handle: if a debtor truly needs to file for bankruptcy protection and is able to constructively process the emotions associated with filing, I promise you they will emerge from bankruptcy worlds ahead of where they started.