Have you even wondered why bankruptcy has such a negative meaning?
Back before the days of large multinational corporations there were smaller banks and lending institution, owned by people within the community, possibly a tab with the corner store or a doctor. When an individual filed for bankruptcy, it not only affected them, but also the debt holders, or creditors. It affected the bankrupt’s creditability as a borrower and gave others pause before lending again. I think of the old proverb “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”.
Now we have very large banks, where the personal interaction is very limited. Most people don’t know the names of the tellers in the bank, some (including myself) have never actually been in the bank. The personal connections with our money and the people who lend it to us have been lost. We feel that the bank is so large, it could never really affect them, or that we’ve paid some much in interest the debt has been more than paid. That we are entitled to borrow that money, we deserve it.
I want to step back and look at a debt in very clear and simple terms. Money has been borrowed with the promise to pay it back. The conditions (interest and fees) were clearly stated before you received the money. If the debt has not been paid a promise has been broken. Be very careful and think long and hard about these terms before you decide to borrow money. Is this a responsibility you are willing to carry for the length of time required? The price may be too high, and if so you should really reconsider.
Now imagine the lender was your 86 year old grandmother, or your child, or your best friend. Does that change your feeling of responsibility to the debt?
I encourage you, if you have debts, to continue to hold up to your end of the bargain. If it is completely impossible for you and your family to live and keep your financial commitment come in and see one of our counsellors. We can help you with a budget to find a way to fulfill your obligation, or we can work with you to contact you creditor and try to re-negotiate the terms of you debt. This may be enough to allow you to pay back your debts in full and carry out your promise.