But I Was Taught To Pay My Bills

So many people feel shame when faced with bills that they cannot pay. That shame is the result of what we were told as children and young adults. Be responsible, live within your means, pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Self-reliance is so important to many of us, and when we can’t get out of a tight financial spot on our own, we feel unworthy, we feel defeated. Not wanting to accept defeat, we will do almost anything to avoid the shame and stigma that we are sure accompanies seeking relief under the nation’s bankruptcy laws.

Funny thing about the indoctrination we received from all quarters about financial responsibility. The institutions that we look to as the bastions of financial responsibility have some very expensive bankruptcy lawyers on their electronic rolodex. When big business has financial problems that can’t be addressed successfully outside of the restructuring available under federal bankruptcy law, chapter 11 is sure to follow. Why should matters be different for the rest of us?

You know the Golden Rule, right? He or she who has the gold makes the rules. When federal banking laws were changed to permit national banks to charge unlimited interest rates on loans the make to their customers, credit card companies became credit card banks, chartered in states with no usury laws. You have experienced the result of that first hand when you missed making a payment or 2 on time to a credit card bank, and saw your interest rates go up to 25% or 29% not only on that card, but on some or all of your credit cards. That is manifestly unfair. What can you do about it?

What you can do about it is what you have been taught not to do: seek relief under the bankruptcy laws. Millions of your fellow citizens have come to understand that yielding to that sense of failure and shame they feel about bankruptcy is self-defeating. Self-reliance doesn’t mean financial suicide. As a parent, your first responsibility is to provide for your family, not to provide for the credit card banks that have reserved funds in advance to pay for your discharge of their high interest rate debt (using the excessive interest that you have already paid them).

Time to take action. Make an appointment to discuss your specific details with me. I can help you see your way through this.

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