Kentucky Bankruptcy Law

Counsel with Care

Learning to live lean

Bankruptcy is certainly an option when one lands in a bad spot due to unexpected life events. In fact, it is better for society for such a person to use the bankruptcy system to get a fresh start and become a productive citizen again relatively quickly rather than be dragged through a series of disheartening collection actions. However, bankruptcy does not really help those persons who do not learn from their economic woes how to live leaner. A tiny minority of people used Chapter 7s followed immediately by Chapter 13s and then began that process again as soon as possible to basically live off of credit for as long as possible. This tiny number of persons lead to reforms in the bankruptcy code that kept one from filing a Chapter 13 until four years after filing a Chapter 7 and prevented a repeat Chapter 7 for eight years. It also lead many to feel ashamed or embarrassed to file bankruptcy. For those who make no changes in their spending practices, the fresh start of bankruptcy will be short lived and they may end up in worse shape because of the timing limits for filing again.

It is those persons who feel embarrassed that I most want to help, because they are likely to learn to live lean to avoid ever being in that predicament again. They are the people who call and are most concerned about whether their name will be in the paper. They want to live within their means, but the costs of living crept up on them or some crisis precipitated unmanageable debt. For them, they can start living within their means if only that can break out of the bondage of overwhelming debt first.

One example of living lean is described in this post about cable television bundled with phone and other services: “Personal Soap Box”. While the post indirectly refers to cutting costs, it is helpful in explaining one way that a deal that sounds cost saving in the beginning can end up costing more in the long run. It also indirectly reminds us that cable television is not a necessity of life; cable TV is a luxury, not a utility like we have been trained to believe.

Bankruptcy is not something to be embarrassed about for basically responsible adults. The numbers of those who will be filing bankruptcy is going to grow larger and larger over the next year and most of those people are folks who wish to honor the debts they incur (as I pointed out in this post, the Jubilee system was a precursor of modern bankruptcy). Bankruptcy is merely the most efficient way for society to address overwhelming debts and keep such people as productive members who can continue to be consumers of goods and services, thus keeping the economy rolling along. But, especially in today’s economy, we must all be determined to live leaner and, if necessary, allow the bankruptcy system be our teacher.

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January 17, 2009 - Posted by | Bankruptcy | , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] to express a few direct thoughts regarding my philosophy of practice in this area. As I alluded to here, I want to help decent, hard working people overwhelmed by debt get a fresh start. I also want to […]

    Pingback by Philosophy of practice in bankruptcy « Lexington Bankruptcy & Family Law | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] to express a few direct thoughts regarding my philosophy of practice in this area. As I alluded to here, I want to help decent, hard working people overwhelmed by debt get a fresh start. I also want to […]

    Pingback by Troutman & Napier, PLLC | Philosophy of practice in bankruptcy | December 8, 2014 | Reply


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