3 Ways That Bankruptcy Can Improve Your Mental Health
By Tracy L. Hirsch
Debt not only affects your financial stability — it can negatively impact your emotional well-being too. Here’s how filing for bankruptcy can greatly improve your mental health and reduce your stress levels.
If you currently have an overwhelming amount of debt – to the point that it hinders you from being able to pay all of your monthly bills (car payment, mortgage, insurance, groceries, etc.) – chances are, you’re feeling depressed and anxious.
When you’re only able to pay the minimum due on your credit cards each month, and you’re basically just chipping away at the accrued interest (and haven’t even touched the actual balance), that causes an incredible amount of stress.
You may be thinking that your situation is hopeless, and that you’ll never be able to rid yourself of this overwhelming anxiety. If that’s how you’re feeling right now, I want you to know that I’m sorry you’re struggling.
I also want to tell you that I have some words of encouragement: Your situation isn’t hopeless, and you can achieve financial freedom without having to win the lottery.
How is that possible? You can lower your large monthly payments on your credit card bills and medical bills to make those payments much more affordable, or in certain cases, you can get rid of your debt altogether by filing for bankruptcy.
Now I’m assuming you’re thinking that what I just said isn’t very encouraging. You may be asking, “Isn’t filing for bankruptcy shameful? Won’t I permanently ruin my credit if I do that??”
As an experienced bankruptcy attorney who’s been in practice for 21 years, I’m here to tell you that the answers to those questions is a resounding “no.”
In spite of the myths, there’s no shame in filing for bankruptcy, as it’s a legitimate and legal way to obtain a fresh start and financial stability. It’s a right that has been given to every American – the right to be set free from the chains of overwhelming debt.
This right to file for bankruptcy not only gives you the option to make lower monthly payments (or to get rid of your debt altogether without making any payments), but it also protects your home, car, and the money in your bank account so that your creditors can’t take those things from you.
As you may already know, if you go months in a row without making payments on your credit card bills, medical bills, and so on, the creditors (the companies and/or banks who loaned you the money) can get permission from a local judge to take up to 25% of your paychecks, foreclose on your home, repossess your car, and more.
When that happens, it creates an unbearable amount of stress for the debtor. If you’re already struggling to pay that debt, having 25% of your paycheck taken every pay period and/or losing your car or house will make matters much worse!
If you’re currently in that position, filing for bankruptcy in Louisville, KY can potentially be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. It won’t permanently ruin your credit, and most people can rebuild their credit within two years after being discharged from bankruptcy.
Just as importantly, filing for bankruptcy can drastically improve your mental health by improving different areas of your life. Here are three ways that happens:
1.) Filing for bankruptcy can help you achieve your long-term financial goals. If you’re expanding your family and want to buy a bigger house, or you want to pursue your passion and go back to school, having a massive amount of debt will stop you from achieving those dreams since you aren’t able to save money.
If you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be given the opportunity to create lower monthly payments toward your debt, which will give you more room in your budget. If you have very low income, you might be eligible to get rid of your monthly debt payments altogether.
2.) Filing for bankruptcy improves your job performance. If you’re currently in a position where you can’t pay back your debts, or can’t even afford the minimum monthly payments, your creditors will start to call and send letters demanding a lump sum. They may even tell you that they’ll sue you in order to legally take away your house, car, and the money in your bank account or paycheck (called a ‘garnishment’).
If you’ve received a garnishment notice, you’re probably under a severe amount of stress knowing that your paychecks will be affected. When you file for bankruptcy in Kentucky, you are immediately protected by the ‘Automatic Stay,’ which means that your creditors have to stop harassing you with daily phone calls, and also stop the garnishment process.
Again, once you’ve filed, your creditors can no longer legally contact you, and they can’t take money from your paychecks.
If you’ve been afraid of answering your phone due to constant calls regarding your unpaid debt, and if your job performance is suffering as a result, filing for bankruptcy will solve that problem.
It’s important to avoid the domino effect that comes with constant harassment from your creditors: your job performance suffers, then you’re at risk of losing that job, which means losing your income.
If the phone calls stop, you’ll sleep better at night, you’ll feel less anxious, and you’ll be able to focus at work. Speaking of focus, there are other important things that you’ll be able to focus on too…
3.) Filing for bankruptcy will help you focus on your relationships. Did you know that one of the main reasons that married couples get into fights (and eventually divorce), is because of finances?
Whether it’s the stress of not being able to pay bills, or differing opinions on how to budget money, your relationships can suffer greatly when your mind is consumed by the stress that comes with massive amounts of debt.
If you feel sick from the stress, your relationships with your children, extended family, and friends will suffer too. In turn, that can have a domino effect where those around you start to feel depressed and anxious since they want to help, but feel powerless to do so.
Filing for bankruptcy lifts that weight off of your shoulder, and helps you focus on building healthy, happy, trusting relationships with your loved ones.
The bottom line? When you’re in over your head in regards to debt, and you file for bankruptcy, you’re making the decision to prioritize your mental health ~ and you can’t put a price on that.
If you want to find out if you qualify for a Louisville bankruptcy, and get advice about whether or not it could improve your situation, I’m here to help! I offer free consultations, either in person or over the phone.
The best part? You’ll be able to talk to me directly. You can text me or call me on my cell phone at (502) 435-2593.
Financial freedom could be right around the corner, and I’d love to help you get there.
All the best,
Tracy L. Hirsch, Louisville Bankruptcy Attorney
Ready to discuss your options? Let's chat!
Need help immediately? Tap on the phone number to call!