This week, I’d like to start a series of blog posts dedicated to the possibility of success after bankruptcy. You might be on this website because you are nervous about the bankruptcy process. You might be wondering if it is truly right for you, and if it will give you the fresh start that you are hoping for. It is not only possible to survive bankruptcy, but to actually turn your whole life around and thrive as a result of it. I hope that sharing stories of extremely successful people who have gone through bankruptcy will prove this to you. While there is no guarantee that bankruptcy is right for you, I’d like to share some success stories with you to show you that life after bankruptcy can be a beautiful thing. By learning from others, we can make more informed choices for ourselves, and that’s what I hope this blog post series brings you. This week, I will start off the series with the story of someone that isn’t necessarily famous or rich, but someone who is happy with her life after bankruptcy – myself!
If you’ve read through my “Personal Message” section, you already know that I filed for bankruptcy five years ago. Let me share my story with you. My financial troubles started when I was in my college years. Like many other college students, I had to pay for school myself. However, unlike most people, I was trying to pay off my undergraduate loans while going to law school and trying to pay off large medical bills from medical issues I had at the time. I did not have insurance, and the bills started to add up. After I graduated law school and passed the bar exam, I was left with massive loans, exorbitant medical expenses and excessive credit card debt, which my first few jobs did not support. Because I knew I wanted to one day get married, own a home and a business, I had to sit down and really think out a plan to get myself back on track.
I started researching my options. I considered negotiating my debt, but it was too extensive. I lived at home to save money and was working a full time job as a paralegal at the time, but I was still barely scraping by. Out of my four paychecks a month, one went toward paying off my credit card debt, one went toward paying off my medical debt, and one went to my student loans. This left me with only one paycheck a month to use as “spending money,” but this money went to food and gas. At this point in my life, I was essentially unable to save money and I was always worried that I would have some kind of an emergency because I didn’t know how I would pay for it. After quite some time had passed in this lifestyle, I realized that it was no way to live.
I realized that I should not be living with the anxiety and burden of such large debts. I needed a fresh start! That’s when I started considering filing bankruptcy. I have to admit that when the thought of filing for bankruptcy first crossed my mind, I was extremely confused and scared. I decided to set up a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer just to talk through my options and get some answers. When I left his office I had one thing I was lacking before I got there, and that was HOPE. I spent the next few months thinking and worrying about what I should do. Two weeks before my wedding, I finally decided that filing for bankruptcy was the best option for me. I didn’t want to go into marriage with all of my debt and drag my husband underwater with me. With the support of my bankruptcy lawyer and family, I finally felt confident in my decision, and I’ve never looked back.
Ultimately, I went back to the initial bankruptcy lawyer that I met with and we went through the bankruptcy process together. The process was much less painful than I ever imagined. When you have a compassionate and competent lawyer figuratively holding your hand, you are confident and capable of going through such an emotional legal process.
It is now 5 years since I filed for bankruptcy. In the past few years I have been able to pay off my car and rebuild my credit score. I also have a secured credit card that I charge small purchases to and I pay over the minimum fee ON TIME, which improves my credit score. I own my own house AND a business.
I feel incredibly lucky to have a business in which I can help people who are in a similar situation to my own find the fresh start they’re looking for. My goal is to use my personal experience to help you realize that trying to negotiate your debt is only putting a band-aid on the problem, like I did for so many years. Filing bankruptcy and discharging your debt means that you are able to heal your credit score and save money for the things that are important in your life.
I hope that my story has shown you that bankruptcy can be a wonderful thing! If you’d like to chat about your options and have your questions answered, you can contact me for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation here.