Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Stigma Of Debt And The Stigma Of Asking For Help | Bankruptcy ...

In the past century, people?s attitudes about bankruptcy and debt have changed in many ways. Debt was considered to be financially irresponsible, and for some, it was deemed immoral. The man for whom the J.C. Penney department store chain is named so despised debt that he was nicknamed ?cash?.

Once big business figured out that they could tilt the balance in their favour if they protected themselves against unreliable borrowers, they began to massage attitudes towards debt towards acceptance. Instead of being thought of as a lazy alternative to saving, financing was promoted as the convenient option for consumers. Since then, a range of borrowing instruments and products have been introduced to the marketplace, hyped for their promise to let you sow before you reap, but if you buy into the hype without thinking about the long-term cost involved, the end of your credit journey will be at the office of a bankruptcy trustee, forfeiting your credit privileges for years under a bankruptcy or consumer proposal agreement.

Nowadays, the stigma around debt has faded, and to borrow against your future income isn?t wholly dismissed as immoral or unethical. It is considered wise for young adults to build up a solid credit history by using credit cards in a responsible manner. This makes someone a better credit risk when it comes time to borrow to make a major investment like a house, car, or an education, things that very few people can purchase without financing.

It is also more acceptable these days for one to carry credit card debt. Among American households with credit card debt, the average amount of debt held is over $15,000. What does seem to still carry stigma is admitting the extent of your debt. And unfortunately for those afflicted, there is still a stigma attached to admitting that you need help to fix your debt problems.

When someone doesn?t take action to relieve their debt burden, the situation can only get worse. Living with money problems is stressful, and has been linked to increase occurrences of depression. Disputes over money can harm relationships and families, and financial troubles are often cited as the leading cause of marriages ending in divorce. The slippery slope may even lead to drug abuse and crime.

In order to start solving your problems, you have to admit you have them. That?s a hard thing to do. But you need to be humble and realize that your behaviour was not sustainable. You can avoid needing the services of bankruptcy trustee if you commit to changing your ways.

Bankruptcy still carries a lot of stigma. Not only is someone who files for bankruptcy subject to severe financial restrictions, but they might also find themselves looked down upon by others if they admitted that they had declared bankruptcy. To someone who has managed their finances well, bankruptcy may be equated with failure, but for someone who is in over their head, whether through fault of their own or through unfortunate circumstances, bankruptcy may be the appropriate solution.

Admitting that you have a problem with debt may be the key to escaping it. You may find that people you know who are spending without concern may only be doing so to keep up appearances. You may even find that your friends and family will lend emotional support and understanding. Of course, if they react with judgment and scorn, you may need new friends.

Kevin Thatcher and Associates help individuals and families get a fresh financial start, providing friendly and customized bankruptcy Mississauga services.

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