Even with the downturn in the economy, many people in New Jersey are still made to feel guilty if they are unable to meet their financial obligations. Many people feel they should be ashamed that they aren't paying their bills and have filed for bankruptcy protection. On the contrary, filing bankruptcy may have been the best and most responsible decision a consumer could make to deal with his or her financial situation.
People who end up filing bankruptcy normally end up in financial straits through circumstances that were out of their control. Some of the most often cited reasons that people file are unemployment, a long term illness, divorce and even simple money mismanagement. People in these situations will often expend a significant amount of energy trying to pay back their debts only to end up in an even worse situation.
Bankruptcy laws exist to help people in these situations obtain a fresh start. If our society wasn't tolerant of financial struggles, bankruptcy wouldn't exist. New Jersey residents shouldn't feel guilty about using this system to get out from under their financial problems.
One of the undeniable tenants of life is that it is unpredictable. No one can know for sure what the future holds regardless of how much planning is done. People make mistakes and have circumstances beyond their control thrust upon them. Financial problems inevitably accompany many of these things. Being able to obtain a fresh start through bankruptcy should provide the filer with a sense of relief, not guilt or shame.
Source: independent.com, "How Bankruptcy Affects You as an Individual," Harley Hahn, May 19, 2013