I recently wrote about some of the financial problems plaguing Stockton, CA – the largest city in US history to declare bankruptcy. The New York Times has since come out with an article depicting the last few years in that community, which have been very difficult.

Because of budget cuts limiting the police force and fire department, Stockton residents have been victimized by an uptick in crime and a lack of responsiveness to non-violent acts like vandalism and theft. Foreclosures and unemployment have skyrocketed citywide. The article describes the situation for residents as a series of “indignities.”

As a bankruptcy attorney in Memphis, the term “indignities” stood out to me. Many people who are the most nervous about filing bankruptcy feel that way because of shame. After all, what will your family and friends think? Will everyone know and judge you?

But while Stockton was doing everything it could to avoid bankruptcy, including budgetary changes and major layoffs, it couldn’t reverse the worst cause of its financial distress: years of poor spending and mismanagement of funds.

In the end, bankruptcy was somewhat inevitable for the desperate city, which is hoping for a more privatized police force to help curb the crime problems that have been growing there for the past few years. Sadly, the long wait for bankruptcy may have furthered the indignities its residents will have to experience.

Sometimes, the difficult decision of bankruptcy is much better than the indignities you might experience without it. People come to our office after months of harassing creditor phone calls at home and at work. They come to us when they’re on the brink of losing their family’s house, or after a repo man has already come to take their car.

These are frustrations and embarrassments that our firm can usually help you avoid. And while bankruptcy is not entirely private, you can usually keep the decision relatively quiet. Our attorneys talk through those details with you and help you make a wise decision about how to move forward.

If you’re worried about the shame of bankruptcy, talk with us first. We have a reputation for being compassionate and never embarrassing you or your family during a difficult time.

No matter what you decide regarding your finances, it’s better to consider all of your options now. That’s the best way to avoid “indignities”: plan ahead, wisely and with proper help.

Contact us today (901-327-2100) for more information about getting out of debt through bankruptcy.