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Don't view bankruptcy as an end, but a beginning

One of the tidbits of advice we hear a lot is the importance of living in the moment. That's good advice for the most part as a means for finding joy in life. But there are times in the lives of Memphis folks when things look pretty bleak in "the moment."

One of those moments may be when one is faced with a mountain of debt and is receiving harassing calls from creditors demanding immediate payment. Very often these situations come upon us because of conditions outside of our control. Still, the anxiety and concern that these pressures create are real, leading us to wonder if there is any way to find debt relief.

The good news is that there is, possibly through bankruptcy. The stigma and fear that that word has generated in our culture may make it hard to embrace, but filing bankruptcy protection does not need to mean an end. Rather, it can supply a new beginning.

By working through either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an individual can get their head above the floodwaters of debt and ultimately find solid footing that can put them on the path to a point where they can again enjoy living in the moment.

One of the biggest misunderstandings individuals may have about bankruptcy is that going through it means they will lose everything and face years before banks will again trust them with something as essential as a home loan. The reality is that while the record of a bankruptcy filing may stay on one's record for up to 10 years, individuals who can show solid progress on repayment of existing debt may become eligible for a mortgage or refinancing in a year or so. The key is in reestablishing personal credit.

Bankruptcy is not for everyone. But it is an option that is worth examining. And it is best done with the help of an experienced attorney who can supply a neutral perspective - a view that helps you step outside of your situation of the moment and allows you to see a picture of a brighter future.

Source: The New York Times, "Life After Bankruptcy," Vickie Elmer, Sept. 13, 2012

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