Let’s face it, there is still a stigma attached to declaring bankruptcy. Though it is very common for people to go through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, those who have never faced crushing death may stereotype those who have as irresponsible with their money. Others may look at bankruptcy as “gaming the system”: living beyond your means, then not having to pay anything back.

We want our readers to know that our clients are not cheaters or “deadbeats.” Often, our clients are so embarrassed to have ended up in their financial situation that they have trouble looking us in the eye.

Often, they are considering bankruptcy because of circumstances beyond their control. A good example is people who have endured a sudden disaster, like the loss of a job or death of a loved one, which put them over the edge financially. Others have relied on credit cards to make ends meet; over time, “credit card creep” can make this unmanageable.

Finally, there are those in the grip of a gambling addiction. Like other illnesses, gambling addiction can cost you your money and your career.

Middle class and working class people throughout New York frequently find themselves at risk of losing their homes and big chunks or their paycheck to creditors. Whatever the reasons that got them to this situation, they may qualify for bankruptcy protections, which can save their home and other assets. A bankruptcy attorney can examine your individual case, and make recommendations about which form of bankruptcy, if any, is best for you.