When we talk about debt, we often focus on the basics and the literal: better budgeting, paying off credit cards, and, of course, credit scores. But debt bleeds into all aspects of life, even beyond the numbers. In fact, many of my clients are concerned about how their finances affect the whole family. Today, I want to talk about the emotional side of debt — and how bankruptcy can help alleviate it.

Denial

I see many people in debt who are ignoring their finances. They spend compulsively, maintaining lifestyles they can’t afford and putting everything on credit. Or, even when living within their means, they avoid confronting the escalating problem altogether. By the time their car is repossessed or they’re faced with foreclosure, it’s too late.

Most common signs of denial:

-Ignoring phone calls from a collection agency
-Leaving bills unopened
-Opening new credit cards

Stress

It’s no surprise that debt is often accompanied by stress. Who can feel at peace when there’s a mountain of unpaid bills piling up on your desk, or stuffed into a drawer? When you’re in debt there are higher stakes and less freedom — a job loss is catastrophic when you’re already struggling financially, so work stress tends to increase. But you’re also in an impossible situation where many of the things you would do to help with the stress — a relaxing spa day, a weekend getaway, or mental health support — are no longer financially feasible.

Anger

Similar to the loss of a loved one, debt brings a grieving process. It’s normal to experience a spectrum of emotions, and I often see people in anger. Many people are mad — at the creditors who won’t stop calling; at the bosses who won’t give them a raise; at their spouses or their children who rely on them; and at themselves, for getting into this bind altogether. It is heartbreaking to watch debt fracture relationships — sometimes beyond repair, if the problem isn’t dealt with. Debt can even impact physical health.

Relief

Perhaps you’re surprised to see this emotion listed here, but debt is a cycle. It can feel impossible to break, but bankruptcy is unique in offering a way out. And at the end of this tunnel comes relief. Trust me: I’ve seen it thousands of times throughout my long career as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer. I could talk to you about budgeting better, or coping with the stress, but those are all bandages over a bigger wound. And you deserve the financial freedom that bankruptcy offers — either by eliminating your dischargeable debts altogether through a Chapter 7, or consolidating debts into monthly payments you can afford through a Chapter 13.

Talk to a Memphis Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

I know how overwhelming it may feel to file for bankruptcy. But if you’re struggling with debt, it is an empowering choice for you and your family. If you have questions or simply want more information, I’m happy to start the conversation today. Call (901) 327-2100 or contact me here, and we can chat about your options.