When Wynn atLaw, LLC works with bankruptcy clients, we emphasize brutal honesty benefits them more than it would embarrass them. Bankruptcy isn’t meant to shame a debtor. It’s meant to help the debtor move out from under an unmovable mountain of bills. Honesty can be thought of as a carrot and stick.
The first way honesty benefits you is that full disclosure is required in the process. This isn’t negotiable. All debts. All assets. All income. You can’t intentionally hold something out or even omit something by accident. If the court or creditors find that you withheld debts or income, you may lose your bankruptcy discharge.
That’s the stick. The consequences could be as severe as facing an FBI investigation. Omission is still fraud even if it really is by accident that you left something out. The penalties you may face from missing debts or assets far outweigh the potential positives.
The carrot is that by being honest with yourself about your spending habits you can make changes needed to emerge from a bankruptcy on great footing. This honest self-evaluation of your spending missteps is a benefit of a bankruptcy filing, not a judgment about your shortcomings. Not everyone spends their way onto the Wynn at Law doorstep. A sudden and massive medical bill can wipe out years of being a responsible budgeter and credit card customer. But it also throws a light on all of your spending including your insurance, which may have been your only spending misstep. Wynn at Law, LLC is not an insurance agent or financial planner, but maybe you will want to consider one coming out of the filing.
Maybe you’re overspending on vacations or vehicles. Maybe it was a job loss and no rainy-day fund. Maybe it was just a matter of getting in too far, too fast with all those attractive revolving credit offers. Bankruptcy helps you see the pitfalls to avoid in your financial future. We are not here to judge. We are here to help.
*The content and material in this original post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
Photo: SIPhotography. Used with permission.