By Attorney Donald A. Hayes
Twenty years ago there was a work ethic in this country which held that if you made an honest living, you paid your taxes and your debts, then you would be rewarded in the end with the American dream. Most people could count on holding on to the same job until they retired. Bankruptcy was a four letter word and the thought of filing bankruptcy was a notion reserved for the deadbeats and the cheats.
Nowadays there is a whole new way of thinking and a new work ethic which has supplanted the old notions. The current work ethic goes like this: work hard, borrow money to pay your taxes and debts and don=t worry too much about tomorrow, live in the present and deal with the future when it comes. The Federal government has set the example for this mode of thinking in our own personal lives with its reckless and wasteful spending and in its massive proliferation of government debt. It has conducted itself as though its debts will never have to be repaid, instead choosing to put it on the tab of the national deficit.
Nowadays the Government continues to condone its profligate practice by permitting credit card banks to recklessly loan money to people who are already in over their heads. Consequently honest people find themselves suddenly insolvent and unable to pay their bills unless they borrow more money. What then? Unlike the government the average person reaches a point where they either they cannot continue making the minimum monthly payments, or their credit is maxed out.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief has proven to be the only answer to this dilemma. When you file a Chapter 7 it gets reported on your credit report and tells the world of lenders that you have done something responsible about your situation; you have discharged your debt and no longer owe it. Your bankruptcy does not tell them that you are a flake or a deadbeat, it tells them that you got into trouble, (the trouble they helped cause) and you have done something responsible about it. Your financial situation looks much better to them now because (1) you have no other unsecured debt, and (2) you cannot receive a Chapter 7 discharge again for 8 years. The alternative is to do nothing about your condition and to resign yourself to being forever in debt, or worse, mortgaging your future by cashing in on your retirement, IRA, or 401K Plan. Believe it or not, soon after you have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some credit card companies are eager to send you new credit card applications right away!