I have always liked the YMCA. It is convenient to wherever I am, and I might be in five or six or seven different cities in a typical week.
If I go on vacation, the YMCA is there also. and if I go to a wedding and people are dancing, well, that's kind of the YMCA.
Some men engage in so-called locker room talking at the YMCA. Most of it is pleasant enough, and it doesn’t sound like a high school locker room unless, of course, the high schoolers are there like they are every weekday morning at one of the YMCA's that I frequent.
But it was the conversation with a 60ish nice gentleman with whom I spoke today that inspired me to sit down and write this blog. I was fixing my hair in the mirror when he came up to me.
“Hey, you are one of the bankruptcy guys on TV, aren’t you?" he said.
I smiled and introduced myself so I would remember which of the guys on TV he was referring to. “Guess you are filing a lot of bankruptcies. People just seem to go overboard with their credit cards.”
He didn’t mean any harm. It is the impression that so many people have when they hear what type of law I do. But it is far from the complete picture, so I started explaining why people file for bankruptcy. I have been doing this for a lot of years, and I can say, without hesitation, that overspending is not the major reason why people need to file for bankruptcy. In fact, the misconception that only “deadbeats” file for bankruptcy is probably the major reason why people don't file for bankruptcy. They do not want to be seen as people who are intentionally avoiding paying their creditors.
Why File For Bankruptcy?
The major reasons why people file for bankruptcy are loss of income and medical reasons which lead to a loss of income. We all know someone who has had the misfortune of having severe medical problems. In many cases, this has led to the loss of a job, either temporarily or permanent. Many of us know friends and relatives whose jobs have been downsized, or shipped to another part of the country, or sent overseas.
Many of us know people who worked for businesses that may no longer be relevant to consumers, such as mom-and-pop stores, or small sporting goods or clothing stores, or so many other businesses that have been shuttered by the big box stores or by Amazon.
The income my clients have lost is real. It is substantial, and it hurts. It hurts them a lot. Thank goodness our clients have been smart enough to seek legal guidance. In many of these cases, we can help them at Steidl & Steinberg.
There are still some overspenders, and the bankruptcy laws help them as well. But before you condemn those who come to Steidl & Steinberg for relief, do some homework. Talk to one of the attorneys at Steidl and Steinberg and listen to the stories we can tell you about the misery our clients have gone through before they agreed to speak to us. And thank those who created the bankruptcy laws for having the foresight to allow some of those unfortunate individuals to get some limited relief.
Want to rework your thoughts about a few more bankruptcy misconceptions? Consider reading our free guide, Bankruptcy Myths, Debunked! to learn what bankruptcy is really like, why people file, and what happens when they do.