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The emotional aspect of bankruptcy: how to deal

Nobody gets excited about the thought of filing for bankruptcy, but in many situations, it's the only way to get out of a financial mess. Many Tennesseans are afraid of bankruptcy, however, because of their pride. To many people, money is their identity. Without it, they have no self-esteem and view themselves negatively. They are afraid that others will view them negatively as well if they file for bankruptcy, since a lack of money often connotes irresponsibility. Bankruptcy is an emotional undertaking, but by understanding the changes that need to be made, those in debt can experience a fresh start, learn from their situation, and ease the stressors affiliated with overwhelming debt.

Bankruptcy causes many changes for some people. They may have to sell prized possessions to pay off debts and struggle to live within their means. They may be forced to live a totally different lifestyle that doesn't allow for vacations, activities and other expenses. Their personal relationships may change as well, as it's not uncommon for bankruptcy to lead to divorce.

Although bankruptcy can be a devastating experience, it's a time for one to reevaluate his or her life and make some goals for the future. Financial control is especially important, since nobody wants to continue the cycle of bankruptcy. Pay off debts, start saving for the future and set up retirement plans. Look for ways to earn extra income, such as a second job or home business. For some, it is also helpful to keep their personal identity separate from their wealth, as many positive people have very little assets and are happy with what they do have.

It's understandable to experience negative feelings when considering bankruptcy. Many people feel sad, angry and ashamed. Some also blame others for their financial downfall. Eventually, it's time to let go of all these feelings and focus on a bright new future. After all, bankruptcy may bring debt relief and a fresh start.

Source: FindLaw, "Surviving the Emotional Effects of Bankruptcy," accessed March 9, 2015

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