Is there life after bankruptcy? The personal bankruptcy stories below are testament that there is, and for many, it's a whole lot better than life before bankruptcy.
The decision to file bankruptcy is a deeply personal and emotional one.
If you are drowning in substantial debt, unable to make your monthly payments. let alone see any realistic way of ever eliminating your debts, if you have constant feelings of being trapped or overwhelmed, if your relationships are suffering because of your severe (and perpetual) financial stress, if you're constantly harrassed by debt collectors who have ZERO sympathy for you or your situation, if you wake up each day to a sinister dark cloud hanging overhead and the promise of only more of the same tomorrow and the day after and the day after that . . . well, filing bankruptcy may not be just the best solution, it may be the only solution.
The decision to file bankruptcy should not be taken lightly, of course, but if you identify with any of the above, you really need to consider all your options with an open mind.
Still, many people who find themselves way in over their heads financially only prolong their anguish by attempting to postpone the inevitable.
For most individuals it's some combination of shame and guilt and not wanting to feel like a failure and the fear of what others will think. These feelings aren't just normal - they're practically universal.
After all, No one wants to file bankruptcy. But the longer you remain in denial, the longer you and those you care about continue to suffer.
Perhaps the real American Dream isn't some mythical tale of triumphant ease and prosperity, but rather one of second chances.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE - there are many others from all walks of life, from all regions of the country, and all with their own unique stories who were once where you are now.
These are their personal stories of Life After Bankruptcy . . .
Bankruptcy Is a Beginning
Sometimes, owning up to shortcomings can be a genuinely empowering experience and, for me, this was one of them.
Bankruptcy Was the Right Decision for Us
My bankruptcy story started with a phone call. I was a stay-at-home mom, cleaning up after the kids' lunch when the phone rang. My husband had been in a car accident, and was on his way to the hospital. I gathered up the children and rushed to the emergency room.
Contemplating Bankruptcy? Don't Beat Yourself Up About It
In December of 2008 we ended our five year financial struggle by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It was a difficult decision but one that I was finally convinced would be the best solution to our problems.
Bankruptcy After a Divorce
When my husband and I decided to divorce, it was a very painful and emotionally stressful time for both of us.
A Second Chance with Bankruptcy
My bankruptcy signs were obvious when we had our second child. I was working in bank in the Bay Area (San Francisco) as a loan officer at the time. As most people know, this area has a high cost of living.
I Wish I Had Filed Bankruptcy Sooner
I filed Chapter 7 at the end of 2009. I was in very serious financial troubles having been unemployed for almost a year.
Credit Card Companies Were Not Understanding
I was 38 years old when I was forced to file bankruptcy. Prior to that, I was always good with finances and rarely was late or missed a bill.
The Thought of Declaring Bankruptcy Scared Me
The thought of declaring bankruptcy scared me. I didn't want anyone to look down on me for failing with my finances.
Bankruptcy from a Previous Marriage
We found creditors calling us night and day. All I could do was cry and try to hide from the phone calls.
Bankruptcy and an Abusive Relationship
Shortly after the guy I was seeing had moved in with me, the physical abuse started. In addition to controlling me and my kids, he also took charge of my paychecks and said that he would take care of paying the mortgage, all the bills, etc. (right after he quit his job and stopped working completely).
Bankruptcy Is Not the End of the World
Bankruptcy Is Not the End of the World! Filing bankruptcy can be very challenging for some people. For me, it was a very difficult decision but it had to be made.
Medical Bills and Bankruptcy
But the main thing we learned from the whole bankruptcy process is that we waited too long. Once it became apparent that bankruptcy was our best alternative, we should have just gone ahead and done it instead of agonizing about it for many months.
There Is No Shame in Bankruptcy
I had lost my job for a year. I tried to get another one but I had no luck and the bills kept piling up. I had to keep charging things like groceries and other needs and the bills stacked up to thousands of dollars. I was on my way to being sued and I didn't know what else to do so I talked with friends and relatives.
Bankruptcy with a Small Business
I watched my brother and his family make the difficult decision to declare bankruptcy last year. With a floundering small business in a decaying part Cleveland, he did everything he could for the past three years to keep the business afloat for his family and employees.
Family Emergency and Bankruptcy
About 15 years ago, my older son was in need of extensive medical treatment not covered by our health insurance. I spent a lot of time on the phone and on the road looking for help with his condition and advocating for changes in treatment options available.
Medical Debt and Bankruptcy
We had maxed out 4 different cards to pay for everything and now the payments were killing us. We were paying over $1700 a month in credit card payments and hospital payments and just couldn't make ends meet anymore.
Bankruptcy Is Liberating
My experience with pre and post bankruptcy is as follows. I was in debt around $40,000. Mixed bills such as credit cards, hospital bills and cell phone bills.
My Experience with Bankruptcy
A few years back my husband and I were buried under a load of debt. We had been making a very good income but shortly after September 11th, it all came to an abrupt stop. The good days were over.
Bankruptcy and Tragedies
He had just gotten out of a very abusive marriage and we were trying to move on when we were hit with a series of tragedies including a child passing away, a house fire, and a medical diagnosis that led to my husband being discharged from the military.
A Bankruptcy Lesson
Then I was taught, "Filing for bankruptcy is the worst thing you could ever do financially." WRONG! Sometimes, bankruptcy is the smartest thing a person could do.
Bankruptcy Gives You Another Chance
I would like to share my experience of personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Hopefully it can give reason to see there is hope and a better outcome on the other side once your own bankruptcy is official.
Bankruptcy and Job Loss
After I was laid off I struggled to find work only to discover that the jobs I was qualified for paid around $5 less per hour than what I had been making. I ended up taking two of these low paying jobs in order to make ends meet, but continued to struggle.
Death of a Spouse and Bankrutptcy
I was a housewife with three kids whose husband had recently died from brain cancer. I was devastated and lost, and ended up deep in debt. I was unable to pay for my house, my bills, or my husband's funeral.
No Shame in Filing Bankruptcy
We filed Chapter 13 in order to not lose our home.
Bankruptcy After College
When I had to file for bankruptcy, it felt like my life was over. I was only 26 and felt like I’d messed up my entire future.
Bankruptcy Is Renewing
I had bills piled up that I could never pay off and they just continued to add up. Filing bankruptcy may feel embarrassing, yet it is a time to refocus and to help get you going in the right direction again.
Bankruptcy and Recession
I watched in helplessness as my uncle had to declare bankruptcy in North Carolina. As the owner of a small furniture store, he was always very conservative and careful with his finances, but overly generous with his three sons, my cousins.
Bankruptcy and Substance Abuse
In 1999, I found myself in the unfortunate position of needing to declare bankruptcy. My husband had developed a substance abuse problem and was spending all of our money.
Advice About Bankruptcy
I think the hardest thing to get over when filing bankruptcy is the initial shock.
Bankruptcy Success Story
Both my spouse and I were successful career professionals making $150,000 a year between us, plus we had company-paid and maintained cars and bonuses, etc. Unfortunately, we lived up to our income and used credit cards for convenience because we could pay them off at any time.
A Restaurant Bankruptcy
I found that after being in business for 7 years, that I was going down with the ship. I was so stressed, very depressed, and my health suffered. I was having ulcers and migraines frequently, and even my marriage was on the rocks.
The Stigma of Bankruptcy?
I had never thought of considering bankruptcy, because there always seemed to be a stigma attached to it. Filing bankruptcy was something to be avoided at all costs. But had I known then what I now know about bankruptcy it would have improved the quality of my life years ago, and I would be in a much better financial state today.
Credit Card Bankruptcy
Back when I was growing up bankruptcy was a real taboo and put a stigma on those who had to file regardless of the reason. Today, for better or worse, bankruptcy is so common that it is no longer looked upon as it was 25 years ago.
Bankruptcy and No Health Insurance
My husband and I filed bankruptcy back in the mid 1990s. What led to our bankruptcy was my getting pregnant and not having health insurance. Lord knows we tried.
Bankruptcy: A New Lease on Life
My parents filed for bankruptcy 11 years ago, when I was about 10 years old.
Bankruptcy to Save Our Home
I filed bankruptcy in February of 2005. Let me tell you, filing bankruptcy was a very difficult decision. But I was deep in debt with credit card bills and about to lose my home.
Bankruptcy After Military Service
I joined the military in 1979 and was cruising along making a career for myself. I had a few credit cards and carried a balance but nothing extravagant. I had planned on making the military a career and was happy with my life. I was single and didn't have a care in the world.
Bankruptcy: The Best Decision I Ever Made
Back in 2007 my financial life seemed hopeless. I was unexpectedly laid off from my job and the collections calls just kept coming. And the bills kept piling up in my mailbox, too.
Hospital Bills and Bankruptcy
In 1991 at the age of nineteen I was hit by a car while I was walking home. I spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from my injuries.
Bankruptcy and Responsibility
After years of financial difficulties, my father, who had been a lawyer and who had tried to help us out, informed us that he could no longer do so due to health reasons.
A Single Mother's Bankruptcy
Back in 1998 I was a 23 year old single mother of two children and I was up to my ears in debt. I was scared to answer the phone because of the creditors. Nobody told me about bankruptcy or what it would do for me.
Credit Cards and Bankruptcy
I filed bankruptcy in 2007. I had always associated filing bankruptcy with failure, but I found the experience to be a relief as well as a positive step in the right direction.
Bankruptcy Saved the Day
I will say that filing bankruptcy back in the year 2005 was most certainly a benefit for me and my family.
Bankruptcy Is Not the End of the Road
Honestly, the initial feeling is without compare--that of failure. How could I be a respectable father, or husband, and have basically admitted to the world that I am incapable of supporting my own family, and don't have a cent to my name?
Bankruptcy from a Bad Marriage
My bankruptcy story begins with a bad marriage. I found out that my husband was lying to me about almost everything and he had been lying for the entire time we were married.
Bankruptcy and Cancer
My husband was diagnosed with cancer when he and I were both 21 years old. We had to pay for all of his treatment the insurance wouldn’t cover, such as steroid shots for $1000/week. Pretty soon, I had over $50,000 in debt from medical bills and credit cards, as neither of us could work.
Bankruptcy of a Doctor
People think that most doctors make a lot of money, so why would a professional need to go through bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy of a School Teacher
First of all bankruptcy sucks! We borrowed from family. We borrowed from friends. This is not a one income society anymore. Embarrassing! Swallowing my pride! You do what you can to help feed your family.
Debt Relief Feels Great
I had to file bankruptcy in 2008 due to some poor choices in my life. Of course the bankruptcy experience was hard and stressful, but not near as stressful as having all my debt.
Bankruptcy After Relocating
We were doing well in New York. I owned my own business and he had been at the same company for 20 years. We had more money than we knew what to do with. Or so it seemed.
A Construction Company Bankruptcy
I had lived paycheck to paycheck for at least 10 years working for a company that I felt didn't appreciate me so I decided to start my own construction company so I could make my life better.
Bankruptcy Saved My Life
Before I went into bankruptcy I had just purchased a new home and a new car,and then, BOOM! - out of nowhere I get laid off.
Learning Our Lesson from Bankruptcy
Last year my wife and I declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We had accumulated over $70,000 in credit card debt.
USA Bankruptcy Guide : Life After Bankruptcy