Should I Feel Guilty If I Go Bankrupt?

Dealing with Emotions: Feeling Guilty After Filing Bankruptcy

Filing for personal bankruptcy can be a difficult journey, fraught with emotional turmoil and moral quandaries. One of the most common feelings that individuals struggle with is guilt. Many wonder, “Should I feel guilty if I go bankrupt?” This article seeks to explore this emotional landscape and to provide some clarity.

Bankruptcy: An Unforeseen Circumstance

Most people who find themselves filing for bankruptcy in Canada never anticipated this outcome. They had stable employment, healthy finances, and even access to credit. However, unforeseen circumstances like job loss, marital separation, or debilitating health issues often push them onto this path.

People often turn to credit to manage their bills during these challenging times, only to realize later that they have fallen too far behind. Bankruptcy becomes an inevitable choice, resulting in feelings of guilt and shame.

A Moral Dilemma: Easy Way Out?

The moral predicament that bankruptcy poses is profound. Individuals are aware of their debts and have the desire to pay them off. However, their circumstances leave them with no other choice. This dilemma often leads to feelings of guilt, as they perceive bankruptcy as an “easy way out.”

Is Guilt Justified in Bankruptcy?

Guilt might be a valid emotion for those who intentionally commit fraud. For instance, someone who extravagantly uses their credit card with no intention of repayment before filing for bankruptcy has committed fraud. This fraudulent behaviour is indeed a cause for guilt.

However, most people who declare bankruptcy do not engage in such activities. Their debts usually stem from regular living expenses, and when their circumstances change unexpectedly, they find themselves unable to repay their debts.

A Self-Reflection: Did You Plan to Repay?

A crucial question to ask yourself in this situation is, “When I used my credit cards, or borrowed from the bank, did I plan to repay them?” If your answer is yes, it’s unlikely that you committed fraud. Rather, you are a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

The Role of Banks and Interesst Rates

Banks charge high interest rates on credit cards, acknowledging that some people will not be able to repay their debts. If you’ve carried a balance on your credit cards for several years, you’ve likely paid more in interest than what you originally borrowed. Although your bankruptcy might mean they won’t get all of their interest, the principal amount has likely been repaid.

The Unwanted Choice: Filing for Personal Bankruptcy

Most people don’t want to file for personal bankruptcy in Canada, and they often feel guilty about doing it. However, if your debts have become insurmountable, bankruptcy might be the only viable option.

The Greater Good: Prioritizing Needs

It is more important to provide for your family and manage your rent than to service a wage garnishment. Bankruptcy, despite the guilt associated with it, might be a better option than having your wages garnisheed for several years.

An Alternative: Consumer Proposal

If you want to avoid bankruptcy, a consumer proposal might be the right choice. A consumer proposal is a negotiated settlement between you and your creditors, which might cost more than a bankruptcy but can potentially alleviate your feelings of guilt.

Professional Help: Licensed Insolvency Trustee

You can seek the help of a personal Licensed Insolvency Trustee, licensed by the federal government of Canada, to guide you through this process. They can answer your questions and provide support in cities ranging from Toronto to Calgary.

In Conclusion

Feeling guilty after filing bankruptcy is a common emotional response. However, it’s essential to remember that most people who find themselves in this situation did not plan for it. It’s a result of unfortunate circumstances, and feeling guilty is not always justified. The priority should be to provide for one’s family and to regain financial stability. If you are feeling guilty after filing bankruptcy, remember that you are not alone and that professional help is available.

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