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An epiphany today about guilt over debt

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  • An epiphany today about guilt over debt

    Long time lurker here. Huge thanks to the advice. I'm doing BK7 Pro Se and would be lost without you. To anyone considering doing it yourself, don't fret. The forms all looked like they were written in Chinese when I first started (a few weeks ago). And now it's like a book I've read a million times. In the first few days, I just set aside one hour and told myself I'd read through one form at a time. Some days, I only made it through one page of one form. It gets easier.

    Anywho, back to the guilt (unwarranted, unhealthy, and unproductive).

    In reading through the forums and in my own experience, it seems that many of us struggle with guilt over missing a single payment, never mind filing BK. And I was puttering around the house today and a sudden thought hit me like a bolt: How much time do our creditors feel guilty when it's their turn to file BK? Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, and the hundreds of banks and lenders that go BK in the course of business. They don't. In their cases, the numbers soar into the millions...billions, even. And we despair over several thousand? I think not. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never again.

    Why should it be different for individuals? It's just business. Cold hard numbers. Debits and credits. Nothing personal.

  • #2
    I never felt guilt over not paying. Maybe regret over falling behind and making some stupid decisions regarding debt management, but not guilt. My experience with Ch 13 has taught me how much the credit card industry screws with and screws over debtors, causes unnecessary stress, guilt and strife...and for what? If people really knew how their debt was treated by the industry when they fall behind or pay back at all. To the industry, our debt is viewed as a commodity and not a measure of our personal responsibility. The debt buying industry, where much of our debt ends up, is a multi-billion dollar where its principals make tons of money off our misery where the only skin they have in this game is the contract of the bad debt we generate. The industry plays on our sense of guilt and personal responsibilty to keep paying on time. One big problem with BK is it doesn't not have enough advocates touting its benefits. The focus is mostly on the price one pays when they file BK and the stigma of being perceived as not beign able to responsibly manage their financial matters. Like many who file, I'm determined not to put me and my family in this situation again and I'm motivated by a refusal to aid and abet the credit card industry as much as I can. If that means a lifetime of debit carding, so be it. I see now more than I ever have before that paying over time for anything other than a house, a car or an emergency expense is just a really bad deal for consumers.

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    • #3
      A standing ovation for both of you. I agree with what both of you have said. I've felt guilty about being in this situation and fighting to make sure I keep making this $2600 a month payment but gosh the banks never felt guilty when they were taking tremendous amounts of interest from me (I'm sure I've paid them way more over the years then I owe now). I will never get in this situaiton again..for me it's cash or I don't need it.
      Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
      Discharged 8/2/16

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      • #4
        I still feel guilt about filing bankruptcy and discharging 70k of credit card debt. I was the one who signed on the line saying I'd pay, and I went back on my word. Ameliorating this is the fact that credit cards charge ridiculous APRs, thus over the many years I serviced the debt, they probably got every penny of principal back as interest. I paid so much interest...

        Still, it was the best decision I could have made given the prior poor decisions I made. It's something I will live with.
        Chapter 7, above median, no asset. Discharged with no UST involvement.

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        • #5
          I'm glad you had that epiphany, LeifGarrett!

          I have never felt any guilt about BK. I have been paying the banks interest since I was 18 and being thrown credit card applications wherever I went on my college campus. They reeled me in early and made plenty of money off me. After over 20 years of diligently making payments, where they willing to budge one inch to try to keep me making minimum payments for the rest of my life? Nope. Don't get me wrong. I don't blame them for me getting into debt. But, they take a risk when they so easily make credit available to young adults and then continue to raise credit limits throughout the years until the stack of cards come crumbling down. They know what they are doing. Our BKs are factored into their business plan. I made some bad financial decisions. Filing BK wasn't one of them and I will never feel guilt over it.
          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

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