While more Americans take advantage of their right to file bankruptcy and get a fresh financial start, there are still some who do their best to discourage necessary bankruptcy filings. Many bankruptcy opponents have repeated their ill-informed opinions so often and so loudly that some debtors take it for truth. Or, even if they don't believe the lies, they don't have a response for critics.
Below are four quick responses to the most comment anti-bankruptcy arguments:
False Argument: Bankruptcy is a dishonest way to get out of your financial responsibilities.
Debtor Truth: Bankruptcy is a LEGAL way for overwhelmed debtors to have their debts forgiven or repaid. Filing bankruptcy often allows debtors to discharge credit card debts and other unsecured loans so they can pay taxes, child support and/or a mortgage.
False Argument: Bankruptcy is only for people who are financially irresponsible; you're not like THOSE people.
Debtor Truth: You're right, I'm not financial irresponsible. But many people file bankruptcy because they have lost their job, experienced a major illness or lost a spouse not just because they made financial mistakes, although that's a good reason too. Note: You don't need to explain to bankruptcy opponents why you're filing bankruptcy; it's really none of their business.
False Argument: Bankruptcy is only for when you have absolutely nothing and are already living on the street.
Debtor Truth: Even very wealthy individuals file bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is there so that it never gets to a point where you're living on the street.
False Argument: Didn't you here about that new law that says you can't file for bankruptcy anymore? Or, that you can't file unless you owe a million dollars.
Debtor Truth: There's no such law. Note: The above argument is total misinformation; but don't waste your time arguing the details of the 2005 changes to the bankruptcy law. Just keep it short and simple.