A couple months ago I had the opportunity to go with someone to a bankruptcy hearing. They asked me to go for some moral support since it really isn't the greatest thing in the world to basically have your life stamped as a complete mess and you need the government to bail you out. They let everyone sit in on some of the cases just to see how the process works. I was interested in how the process went, so I sat down and just listened to the stories. Some were just mind boggling dumb.
4 out of the 15 that I heard I wanted to stand up and say, "Don't let them declare bankruptcy. They are just lazy!" When I heard that money was the number 1 reason marriages fail I didn't believe it, but if these hearing were any indication, it seems like it's the only reason. I heard six different cases were the loss of money turned into a loss of marriage.
One guy in particular was $20,000 in debt from a failed business. He lived with his parents, and was currently unemployed. $20,000!? In the economy that we're in he could probably ask to differ on his loans, get a job then pay off his debt before 7 years. The fact is he just didn't want to do. Declaring bankruptcy is serious business. You pretty much get flagged from everything except those payday loans and 99.25% APR credit cards. It would be a climb but it's possible to pay it off before the 7 years are up and you wouldn't have bankruptcy looming over your head. If this guy has $20,000 in debt and say he pays $10,000 in interest over 7 years that would equate to $360 a month he would have to pay to be out of debt in 7 years. That could be done even with the messily income that I earn. The fact that he didn't want to sit down and figure it out and just took the bankruptcy as the easy way out infuriates me.
I wish that bankruptcy wasn't so cut and dry and that people that just want an easy way out shouldn't be able to do so. If you amassed a huge debt and there is no way that you could pay it off then I can see bankruptcy is the way to go. But some people just need to sit down and figure it out before they do something that is as self destructive as bankruptcy.