Read This Short Excerpt From the Book
Is It O.K. For Me To File Bankruptcy?
I have clients ask me this question all the time. Most often they are simply looking for reassurance that they are doing the morally correct thing. The short answer is yes, and thank goodness! Let’s face it, we’ve all been taught that we need to pay back our debts. For those who can’t, the prospect of declaring bankruptcy is not only humiliating, it’s morally repugnant. However, recent studies have shown that 42% of all personal bankruptcies are a result of medical expenses. Seventy eight percent of those people even had health insurance! With the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, and the difficulty of finding affordable insurance, this is no surprise. Another 22% of personal bankruptcies were filed due to loss of employment. With an unemployment rate over 7.5% for the past 5 years, individuals continue to seek relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The studies have concluded that of all the bankruptcies filed, only 15% were the result of out of control spending habits. Thus, the vast majority of all bankruptcies were filed for reasons completely beyond a person’s control.
In other words, if you find yourself in the position of needing relief, you are not alone. In fact, you will be joining the ranks of such famous and capable people as; U.S. Presidents, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and William McKinley; Captains of Industry, Henry Ford, Henry John Heinz (of Heinz Ketchup fame), Donald Trump (filed twice for his casino empire) and Walt Disney; Entertainers, John Wayne (actor), Larry King (talk show host), Ed McMahon (famous Johnny Carson sidekick), and Burt Reynolds (actor); and Athletes, Archie Griffen (double Heisman Trophy winner), Dorothy Hamill (Olympic champion), Mike Tyson (World champion boxer) and Johnny Unitas (Hall of Fame quarterback). Everyone’s situation is different, but the point is the bankruptcy laws exist to provide relief to the “honest, but unfortunate debtor.” These people made use of laws that were enacted specifically for the purpose of helping them. Although our bankruptcy laws provide tremendous relief to people, that has not always been the case.