Posted by: Jay | April 11, 2008

Filing Bankruptcy

I’m not filing bankruptcy.

Lately however, several people I know have decided to file bankruptcy and to be honest, I actually don’t feel much sympathy for them and in fact, it annoys me a little bit.

About 7-8 years ago, my wife and I had financial issues. I wasn’t really making good money at the time and credit cards that we used when our daughter came along unexpectedly to buy things and purchase other things finally caught up with us and we just couldn’t afford to pay. It tanked our credit. People suggested filing bankruptcy and we looked into it, but I didn’t want to do it for a variety for reasons. The biggest reason was because we weren’t filing because I lost my job or we had huge medical expenses we couldn’t cover. It was largely because we didn’t handle our finances very well and made poor decisions. Well, here it is about seven years later. Starting in the spring of 2009, a lot of the ‘baddies’ as they are called on my credit report will drop off. I’ve been paying some of those debts off, and even had to go to court to fight one. I’ve rebuilt my credit to the point where it is just ‘ok.’ I’ve made every mortgage payment on my house on time and same with car payments and any new credit cards I have. Once those negative items drop off, my credit score will soar and probably be back up there amongst those Americans with the best of credit records.

The people I know that are filing bankruptcy are doing so because they made poor decisions as well. One couple dived into a business they were not ready for and had to close it. Another couple bought two properties totaling nearly $750,000 and bought at the height of the housing market. They’ve both filed for bankruptcy. The problem I have with what they’re doing is not so much that they’re filing bankruptcy, but their attitude about it. The moment they decided to file, their lawyers advised them to just stop paying everything aside from utilities, car insurance, et. So before they’ve officially filed, they stop paying their mortgage, car payments, credit card payments, etc. Now, if they were using that money to save or use to pay off some debt, that would be one thing. But I keep hearing them talking about spending money on things they couldn’t spend on if they didn’t file. To me, that doesn’t seem right. Our church is having a boat chartered for a fishing trip for a men’s group. The cost is nearly $100. Both of the husbands are going. Instead of renting a very basic home while dealing with the bankruptcy, I keep hearing from one couple how they’re looking to rent a big home on a canal and why not? They won’t have any creditors to pay, so they can afford to rent a nice big home. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems wrong to be spending like that simply because you’ve used a legal maneuver to get out from debt.

And don’t get me wrong. I sympathize because when you have that kind of situation, it feels like walls closing in around you and if they looked at it and felt bankruptcy was the only way to go, then so be it. But people who do that should take some kind of lesson away from that. It seems some people haven’t.



  1. My reason for filing , you could say was the perfect storm:divorce,loss of business, and loss of health. What I like to call the Big Bang.

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