Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now, imagine absolute silence. No clocks, no telephones, no computers or televisions. Not even the hum of an appliance plugged into a wall socket. Nothing whatsoever.
That’s quiet. The kind of quiet most people yearn for in small doses, and that can drive you crazy if you get too much of it.
When you’re in debt up to your eyeballs, that quiet is impossible to come by. Whether it’s the telephone ringing or just that voice in your head constantly worrying about how to make the rent this month, you’re surrounded by noise.
Whenever I got into the bankruptcy court building I notice the silence. The only sounds outside of the courtrooms and meeting rooms are … well, there aren’t any. My footsteps, of course. But aside from that it’s quiet.
That’s the benefit of bankruptcy. Not the fact that you don’t owe the money anymore; most of my clients aren’t making their payments by the time they get to me anyway. Not the ability to re-build credit after the bankruptcy is completed.
The benefit of bankruptcy is quiet.
When you file a bankruptcy case – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, it doesn’t matter which – an automatic stay goes into effect. There are limitations if you’ve had a prior case, but for the most part it will stop the phone from ringing. Once the case is completed, that automatic stay becomes permanent through the discharge injunction. The quiet you get remains in place forevermore.
No more calls. No letters. Not even a birthday card. It all goes quiet.
And isn’t that exactly what you want from your bankruptcy? You want the collection calls to stop and for the creditors to leave you alone. To give you some peace and quiet so you can think, regroup and rebuild your financial life.
Quiet. That’s the benefit of bankruptcy. Not so bad, huh?
Image credit: Leo Reynolds