Have you ever found yourself trying to figure out how to accomplish something without any resources to accomplish the task? For me, that task was paying on a massive amount of debt – not only debt that I incurred myself, but also my father’s debt that was passed down to me. Keep in mind that I was in my early twenties starting with a family of my own. This is how filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy has impacted me and my family. But first, I have to give you a quick tour of how I got into the situation.
My father was in his seventies when he was diagnosed with dementia and was unable to take care of himself. I had no other family to take care of my father, and I was an only child; so it was up to me to accomplish providing care for him. In addition, I had just started a new job that was very taxing on my time and made care for my father even more difficult. To add to it even more, I was also living with my wife in another town, adding a one hour commute to see my father. Then came the day he started having falling accidents which made it necessary for him to be in a nursing home. This required that all of his assets be sold and all proceeds went to my father’s care. His house did not sell, and my father’s money was used to pay the $5,500 per month charge for care. With my back against the wall, I had no other choice but to talk with an attorney regarding bankruptcy options.
Once we had everything laid out to determine the best route, the lawyer recommended chapter 7 due to the amount and the house foreclosure. Until then, I would have never understood the relief I felt after the decision was made and the bankruptcy process started. I was able to breathe and start my life over. Granted, my credit took a massive hit, but my sanity and family was much better off. From here, I was able to get back on my feet and finally accomplish moving forward in my life; I finished my education and kept my career intact due to the efforts of my attorney. I thought I would have felt shame, but instead I felt forgiveness. This option comes with consequences, but it was better than losing everything.
What I can say about bankruptcy is that it should never be taken lightly. It should be a tool that, based on your situation, gives a second chance like in my case. It did prevent me from making some financial decisions right away, but it provided a clear path to eventually get there. Overall, the process made me a better person.