Are Your Friends Judging Your Debt? Tips to Help You Avoid Social Stigma
Did you know that the word bankruptcy dates back 500 years and may have been derived from the Italian term banca rotta, or broken bench? For whatever reason, there is still a negative association with the term – and many people are dismayed to find themselves in the situation at all, let alone having to explain to friends and family exactly what’s going on with their financials. However, the fact of the matter is that the American middle-class is seeking bankruptcy protection in greater numbers than ever before (Not to say that this is right or wrong, we’re just stating the facts). Income and job security for homeowners are at a 10-year low. Banks are becoming less willing to extend further credit in the current economic climate. It is no wonder that debt issues are affecting more consumers than ever before, given the economic conditions we live in. The best way to avoid social stigma among friends and families is to provide information that shows why your debt-restructuring plan is a healthy and viable way to manage debt.
Be Upfront With Your Debt Issues
When talking to family especially, you may wish to explain the situation of your debt. Being upfront and transparent with your financial condition may actually remove the assumption that you are simply incapable of managing your budget. Many Americans are suffering due to employment crisis, medical expenses and the housing market collapse. While these factors may be out of your control, you can take responsibility for how you will respond. Family may be part of your solution, whether it is extending further credit to you or helping to pay down a negotiated settlement. Being upfront will provide accurate information and dispel assumptions.
Remember That You’re Not Alone
In the old days, filing for bankruptcy protection would mean that your name would be quickly broadcast in the newspapers. Luckily, that sort of public shaming is no longer in fashion. Perhaps this is because such a great number of consumers are filing for protection in the US, and many workers are being put out of a job. Job loss and debt problems are becoming commonplace. Economic downturns are affecting everyone, but there are many helpful services that can begin a credit repair program and help you to find unique solutions to your situation. The best way to dispel the stigma of debt problems is to begin a plan to solve them. We are not defined by our problems, but by the way in which we deal with them.
Rethinking The Meaning Of Bankruptcy
In the UK at present, there is actually a push to rename and alter the meaning of “bankrupt.” Because of the negative stigma that is attached to it, Tory MP Brooks Newmark is fighting to encourage the use of the term “debt adjustment.” Regardless of whether this is a solution or merely an issue of semantics, it does bring to the foreground the issue of emotions that are connected to the word “bankruptcy” – and there is a lesson to be learned. If you find the work “bankruptcy” unsettling, use a different term – it will help to alleviate some of the stigma around the term itself.
It isn’t productive to judge others or for those affected by debt to feel shame. Instead, friends and family should be there to support and alleviate the suffering of those who are facing bankruptcy. Removing the stigma is a combination of informing those around you about the facts and seeking professional help. With determination, hard work and some assistance, you can climb out of debt and create a brighter financial future.