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How to deal with the emotional effects of bankruptcy

Many Tennessee residents think of bankruptcy as primarily a financial issue - and some regard it as a moral issue, too. For anyone who goes through the process, though, it is a deeply emotional experience. Financial challenges and a lack of money can bring up many uncomfortable and judgmental feelings about self-worth. Bankruptcy also can test the strength of relationships, including marriages and friendships. Fortunately, learning to understand emotions during and after a bankruptcy filing can help an individual deal with the practical realities of bankruptcy.

Although the debtor surrenders control of his or her finances to a bankruptcy court, in the long run, the debtor will end up with better control of those finances and a better understanding of how to avoid trouble in the future. The experience can lead the way to securing a better financial future, especially when unexpected events occur. In addition to letting go of debt, a person can learn to let go of anger, depression, loss and shame.

Bankruptcy can change a person's life in other ways. In some circumstances, a person will have to part with some assets to help pay off creditors. It can also affect relationships with family members. As a previous post noted, it can significantly challenge a marriage and family, but these challenges can be overcome. Filing for bankruptcy also can change social relationships. As the belt tightens, many social practices such as going out with friends and going on vacation are usually reduced. Fortunately, these changes can provide the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones.

Any Tennessean who files for bankruptcy is better off treating him- or herself with compassion. Filing for bankruptcy may feel as if everything is over, but in reality, it is a chance for people to start fresh financially and with a new outlook on life.

Source:, "Surviving the Emotional Effects of Bankruptcy," accessed July 28, 2014

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-624-4002
Toll Free: 800-257-7594
Fax: 423-624-0509
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