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Eight Steps to Cope with Emotional Issues During Bankruptcy

There are several ways to cope with emotional issues during bankruptcyWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.    
 
I represent hundreds of typical Long Island consumers each year with bankruptcy.  Some find the process extremely smooth and look forward to the procedure that will enable them to feel that a major a burden has been lifted from their shoulders.  Others, however, experience a certain amount of emotional anxiety about filing for bankruptcy.
 
For those who may suffer from anxiety surrounding overwhelming debt and feel a sense of conflict in seeking bankruptcy relief, here is a eight-step process to make dealing with the emotions of bankruptcy easier.  Also see the post I wrote last month — The Emotional Side of Debt and Bankruptcy [1].
 
Step 1: If you are having feelings of financial failure, you may be experiencing a sense of embarrassment.  You must understand that bankruptcy is not the end of the world. In fact, most bankruptcy proceedings go incredibly smoothly.  My clients often say to me after their hearing, “Craig – Is that all there is to it?”
 
Step 2:  You may feel that consulting with an bankruptcy attorney for the first time can be difficult and agonizing.  However, investigating your bankruptcy options is an important first step to learn the truth about how bankruptcy works and how it may help you.  A good bankruptcy attorney is patient and understanding and will ensure that you understand how the process works.
 
Step 3:  You are not alone and you must keep the bankruptcy filing in perspective. You certainly aren’t the first person to go down this path and you definitely won’t be the last.  For most of the past six years, over a million American consumers sought bankruptcy relief each year.  Many tens of thousands file here in New York each year.
 
Step 4: You should stay focused on the reason you are filing for bankruptcy.  This requires that you shake feelings of sadness to better control your emotions if you want to recover financially and get back on track. 
 
Step 5: Learn from your mistakes.  Getting into debt can happen to the best of people.  Sometimes a bad debt situation is caused by factors beyond your control; sometimes because of financial mismanagement.  If so, learn from it and apply these lessons to your life in moving forward.  No matter what caused your debt, consider it only a setback and not a failure.
 
Step 6: Be positive with how you utilize your emotional energy about finances in the future.  Rather than feel degraded and destroyed, ask yourself what you can do differently in the future.
 
Step 7: Think about how a major burden will be lifted from your shoulders once you file your bankruptcy case.  My clients often tell me that they can finally sleep at night just knowing that they’ve retained us to start the process.  Once you file for bankruptcy, bill collectors stop calling and creditors cannot take any further legal action against you.
 
Step 8: Think of bankruptcy as a tool.  In many ways, bankruptcy is nothing more than a financial planning tool that the government makes available.  Remind yourself of this and think of bankruptcy as taking a course of action to solve a particular problem.
 
 
At our office, we make the bankruptcy process as easy and stress-free as possible.  If you are suffering from overwhelming debt, make an appointment with us today.
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