People in financial difficulty don't want to file bankruptcy. They don't want the perceived stigma, it makes them feel like a failure, and they don't want to trash their credit. Hey, I get it! No one wants to do it! But the thing is, it might be the best thing you can do to get your life back to normal!

How Bankruptcy Can Get Your Life Back to Normal

Imagine your life before you had a mountain of credit card debt or before you had that injury or illness that racked up the medical bills. Remember how you could write that check for the mortgage, rent, or car payment without the worry of whether the money was in the account to cover it?

The stress of dealing with that debt can be immense with the feeling of being trapped and there being no way out.

But for most people, the way out is bankruptcy, but for one reason or another, they don't want to open that door and go through it. Bankruptcy can get rid of that debt that is preventing you from going back to that happier, more normal, life!

Bankruptcy has also allowed them, in many cases, to pay back some (or all) of their debt over time with a monthly amount they can afford through a chapter 13 repayment plan. This provided them with the opportunity to get their lives back to normal, while also making it possible to meet their financial obligations within their financial means.

Famous People Don't Fear the Bankruptcy Stigma

There are a lot of celebrities that have filed bankruptcy without the fear of the stigma that goes with it (which more people see because they are famous) and often with much more debt than you may have. They include Larry King, Mike Tyson, Burt Reynolds, and Cyndi Lauper.

Rapper Fifty Cent (aka Curtis Jackson III) also filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy, but it is the type of bankruptcy and the reason it was filed that make it interesting.

What Made 50 Cent File Bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy was filed a few days after a jury ordered him to pay $5 million in compensatory damages in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit. On top of that,  the jury in the case was scheduled to deliberate on possible punitive damages, but the filing may put the trial on hold.

Thus the bankruptcy stay acted as an effective shield to halt the proceedings, so that he could take a breath and figure out what he was going to do next. The Associated Press quotes his lawyer as saying,

"Mr. Jackson's business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course during the pendency of the Chapter 11 case. This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr. Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer."

In other words, filing bankruptcy got his life back to normal!

The Power of the Bankruptcy "Shield"

Businesses, as well as individuals who have a large amount of debt, can file a chapter 11 to "reorganize" financially, using powerful tools to gain leverage with creditors. Here, Jackson was able to stave off the litigation from getting even worse, forcing the other party to come to bankruptcy court to seek satisfaction on the $5 million judgment and try further to get punitive damages. In the meantime, he was able to continue to generate income and preserve his assets while he came up with a plan to deal with it.

What Does This Mean to You (and Everyone Else)?

So what does this mean to everyone else? It means that when you are hit with a lot of debt, suddenly as with 50 Cent, or over time, bankruptcy can help. One of the big advantages is that it can help people deal with their debt more on their terms, while being able to live their lives free of creditor harassment.

If you live in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County and are considering filing bankruptcy, call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy, then download my free book, Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

Not sure if bankruptcy is right for you? Take the quiz to the right to find out more!

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Steven J. Richardson
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