Financial problems can happen to anyone, for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is job loss. I’d like to share a story about job loss, and overcoming the fear of friends, family and employers knowing that bankruptcy was filed.
A Story of Financial Trouble Caused By Income Loss
My name is Karen and a few years ago my husband and I were unsure what to do about our financial problems. My husband, Chris, had lost his job and we were behind on all of our bills. We were able to keep our heads above water until his unemployment compensation ended and he still did not have a new job. My salary was not enough to pay our monthly bills and living expenses, so we started falling behind on our bills. At first it was just the credit card bills, but then the mortgage and car loan soon followed.
We were facing foreclosure and had no idea where to turn. That is when we decided to schedule a free bankruptcy consultation. We had no idea how we would feel after bankruptcy, but we know it had to be better than what we were feeling right now.
Our Bankruptcy Consultation and the Bankruptcy Process
From the first appointment with our bankruptcy lawyer, William Kain, we felt comfortable and safe. He really cared about what we had been through and what brought us into his office that day. After discussing our financial situation, William explained the various bankruptcy options available to us and he explained what he thought was the best option for our situation. He took the time to answer our questions about what would happen after bankruptcy.
In our case, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would help us resolve our debt problems and obtain a fresh start so we could rebuild after the devastating financial crisis caused income loss. After discussing the benefits of bankruptcy with William Kain, Chris and I made the decision right then to file a Chapter 7. We were nervous about what would happen after bankruptcy; however, we knew this in our best interest.
Because we were struggling financially, William said that he would allow us to make monthly payments toward his fee, so we could pay the filing fee and the credit counseling fee now to file our case quickly. The entire staff was very helpful; they did not send us home with a thick packet of “homework” but they worked with us to complete the information necessary to file our bankruptcy case.
We came back into the office the next week, met with our legal assistant and then our attorney, to review the bankruptcy forms. Chris and I never felt as if we were left alone to struggle with gathering information to complete our forms or that we were just another “file” in the office. If we had questions, William was always available to answer them.
Our case was filed within two weeks of our first meeting and we completed our bankruptcy in just under five months from our first appointment. It was such a relief to know that our creditors could not harass us any longer about our unpaid bills. Chris found a job shortly after our case was ended and we were able to save our home and we have been working toward rebuilding our finances.
Our Fear About People Knowing We Filed Bankruptcy
Even though we know that filing bankruptcy was the right thing to do for us, we were embarrassed to think that our friends and family would find out about the bankruptcy. After bankruptcy, we were also concerned that any potential employers would find out about our bankruptcy, and they would not want to hire Chris. Our fear was that our names would be published in the newspaper or online, as they are when you are arrested or charged with a criminal offense. However, our fear was unfounded.
William explained that first, there is nothing to be ashamed of; bankruptcy laws are here to help individuals just like us. Second, bankruptcy filings are not published. We did not need to worry about seeing our names in the paper or our family or friends finding out about the bankruptcy. Only our creditors and the people we chose to tell would know that we filed bankruptcy; this relieved much of our fear and anxiety. It was wonderful to have an attorney who cared about our feelings and not just about the fees that he would earn from filing our case.
To work with an attorney that cares about your situation, request a free bankruptcy consultation.