Last Sunday I listened to a sermon on hope and faith and how what it all really boils down to is our hope for something better or a continuation of the good relationships we now have. And while I am not comparing the Gospel to bankruptcy law I of course tend to draw parallels between non-bankruptcy topics and what I do for a living every day. And to me, one of the best things about practicing bankruptcy law is the ability to provide hope to people who are often going through one of the most difficult times in their lives. Hope that even though you may have been suffering through financial chaos for several years that it is possible to start over and rebuild. Things don’t always have to be as they now are.
Sometimes I think the term “fresh start” is a little overused in bankruptcy advertising, but the reality is bankruptcy can give you a fresh start – and along with that comes the good and the bad. Bankruptcy provides an opportunity to start over and build again. And the flip side is bankruptcy means starting over and building again.
Yesterday I met with a client for the first time and as we went over his specific situation it became clear that we could file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and when that bankruptcy was over four months from now he would be completely debt free. I could tell it was taking a while to really sink in. Debt free. After years of toil he would be able to start over. It also meant that he was going to let go of his car and his house – something he didn’t want to, something he wouldn’t have been required to do, but something that he knew he needed to do to get the complete fresh start he was seeking.
That is not to say that everyone that goes through bankruptcy must give up their cars or their home. On the contrary most keep everything they have. But bankruptcy provides an opportunity, if you chose, to emerge debt free and you then have the ability to start rebuilding from the ground up. It takes time to rebuild, but often less than it would have taken if you do nothing and let the current situation continue to fester.
The short of it is there hope. You don’t have to continue on as you have for years. The hardest part – as with most things – is taking that initial step, making a decision, and moving forward.
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John Skiba, Esq.
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