Profiting from Shame

People are so scared in our society to talk about their financial difficulties.  It is a taboo subject that people avoid even more than discussing religion or politics. We all want to be like those people who made a fortune, we envy them and try to emulate them. At the very least, everyone expects to be able to live a middle class lifestyle if they work hard and play by the rules.  Many who aren’t living that lifestyle are asking themselves, what’s wrong with me?

Unfortunately people who are meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer are often manifesting an intense amount of shame.  They somehow feel like their financial failure is a moral failure, representative of some kind of failing they’ve had in life.  Because so many people are unable to discuss this outside the safe confines of their lawyer’s office, everyone thinks they are in this alone and that they’re a failure.  People even think that they’ll have to explain to the bankruptcy judge why they’re in the mess they’re in and justify it to them. 

Profiting off people’s shame

This feeling of shame and unwillingness to talk about financial problems is a big reason why debt settlement and debt management businesses are raking in cash.  They tell you that, for a price, they’ll handle your finances for you, pulling you out of the hole and keeping you from having to file bankruptcy.   

Debt settlement rarely works and is usually just a ripoff.

They fail because creditors often don’t cease collections even after they’ve been contacted by one of these for profit companies.  The company you hired pays themselves first and THEN tries to settle your debts. Inevitably, the creditors who aren’t getting anything and won’t settle end up going to court and get a judgement against you and you’re back at square one, only poorer than you were.  This only benefits the debt settlement people and works because they convince you that bankruptcy is shameful. 

Bankruptcy isn’t shameful or rare

Over the past few years more than 1.3 million people a year have sought bankruptcy protection and the numbers were even higher than in the last decade.  A recent study said that between 15 and 20% of all families in the United States would be better off if they had filed bankruptcy. The majority of people who live in the United States and need to file bankruptcy usually have a good reason.  The top three reasons for filing bankruptcy are job list, divorce, and some kind of illness, none of which are shameful. It isn’t like you’re out blowing money on gambling, cocaine and prostitutes. The average bankruptcy client is married, middle aged, white, working and has some kind of education beyond high school.  Again, nothing shameful there. Having generous and consumer friendly bankruptcy laws ENCOURAGES competition and entrepreneurship. Any country that wants to thrive in our modern economy needs to protect people who take reasonable risks and fail to encourage more entrepreneurship. It allows people to take business risks without the risk of a life sentence for failure. Bankruptcy is vital to protecting people from failure and allowing them to get back on their feet.  If you feel the need to speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your situation, don’t let someone shame you into making a mistake that may cost you money and peaceContact the attorneys at Harmon and Gorove today to learn how we can help you get back on your feet.