There is a tragic story featured at the Dallas Morning News about a debtor who murdered his former co-workers after failing to receive an unemployment check. Jason Rodriquez had recently filed bankruptcy; but not before his financial troubles sent him over edge.
The article said:
“Employees at Reynolds, Smith and Hills recognized their former co-worker [Rodriquez] when he drew a handgun from a holster under his shirt, police said, and killed Otis Beckford, 26, next to a receptionist’s desk in an office at a downtown Orlando tower. He then walked into the office and unloaded several more rounds, wounding five other employees at the company he had been fired from two years ago.”
Investigators say that Rodriguez blamed the firm when he didn’t receive unemployment benefits. He had been fired from the company two years earlier and felt that he had been wrongly dismissed. In proceedings from his recent bankruptcy filing, he told the bankruptcy judge that he only earned $30,000 working at Subway but had $90,000 in debt. When investigators asked Rodriguez why he committed the heinous crime, Rodriguez responded, “Because they left me to rot.”
The anger expressed by Rodriguez is indicative of what many in his situation are feeling. Debt can become so stressful that it can often cause mental illness that drives the debtor to do things he/she might not have done otherwise. While I don’t know the details of Rodriguez’s situation, it sounds like his ordeal began at least two years ago. While filing bankruptcy was a good move, his bankruptcy filing probably should have come earlier–before the stress sent him over the edge. For any debtor struggling under the weight of debt related stress, please seek professional help before the stress becomes unbearable.