An old saying, generally said to come from Native American culture, goes “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” The sentiment is one that has echoes in nearly every culture. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” comes to mind as an example.
It seems to be particularly appropriate phrase when it comes to the issue of bankruptcy. It doesn’t matter if you live in Texas or some other state or whether you’re filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, bankruptcy carries with it such negative presumption that it seems to be easy for others to pass judgment. Experts in the field, though, know that anyone can find themselves in dire need of debt relief.
Readers who have doubt about that need look no further than to an article that appeared recently in the online publication Daily Finance.
Author Dave Landry happens to be a debt counselor and financial adviser himself and his story is about his own experience filing for bankruptcy protection. The details are not uncommon.
He describes how he and his wife married right out of college. They came together with a total of $40,000 in student loan debt and quickly racked up an additional $20,000 in credit card debt. Two children entered the picture and home upgrades were made. But then the housing market collapsed.
After a year of trying to keep things together, and with foreclosure looming, Landry filed for bankruptcy in 2011. The family moved into a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment.
Landry admits that perhaps his biggest mistake is that he failed to apply to himself the same analysis and financial discipline strategies he gives to his clients. He says all the things he did wrong with his family’s finances would have been spotted right away by another adviser.
Landry says bankruptcy was not fun. He is poorer. But he says he’s also much wiser. He also suggests some of his clients trust him more because they know he knows their pain.
Source: DailyFinance, “I’m a Debt Counselor … and I Filed for Bankruptcy,” Dave Landry, Jan. 27, 2014