Seeking The Simpler Path

Seeking The Simpler Path

By |August 13th, 2012|

“Simple” is likely not the word you would use to describe your life if you are contemplating bankruptcy. Maybe you’re looking at it the wrong way.

Lately I have been reading the book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segal. Mr. Segal, a former Apple employee, details the almost religious devotion that Apple has to simplicity. You can see this in the designs and ease of use in many Apple products.

Segal states that when we are faced with making decisions in life that generally we will seek out the simpler path. He put it more directly when he wrote “whether you’re a person, dog, fish, or amoeba, you will respond more positively to the simpler solution.”

I think this is true. When our lives become too complex or difficult we get stressed out, we make bad decisions, we can damage relationships.

When it comes to dealing with our debt – especially serious debt problems – we may not know where to look to find the simple path.

Regardless, we want simplicity in our lives. But dealing with serious debt problems seems to bring nothing but complexity, stress and chaos. While bankruptcy can have its own set of complexities, the end result can bring simplicity and peace to your life. Here’s how:

Regain Control through Bankruptcy

If you are like many of the people I work with you are dealing with creditors calling you night and day. Trying to fight your debt battle on a dozen different fronts is getting you nowhere fast. Your debts are bought, sold and transferred to debt collectors. You may not even know who is calling you for what debt anymore.

As soon as your bankruptcy is filed the court will enter an order that will stop the chaos. Creditors will no longer be able to harass you with phone calls, snotty letters, or any of their other collection techniques.

You now have a chance to catch your breath. Take a step back, and start over again.

Bankruptcy Brings Order to Dealing with Your Debt Problems

The bankruptcy process allows you to deal with your debts in an orderly fashion. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy most of your unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, etc.) will be eliminated completely. When it comes to your secured debts (car payments, house payments) generally, so long as you can keep making those payments, you will be allowed to do so. You will even have the option of walking away from that house or car you can no longer afford if you choose to do so.

This means that you will not be dealing with lawsuits, garnishments, bank levies or any other collection issues going forward. This is the beginning of the “fresh start” you have been craving.

In a chapter 13 bankruptcy you will be able to propose a plan to your creditors on how you will deal with them. While you will be required to pay your creditors some of what is owed, in most cases it is a fraction of the total amount and it is paid over a 3 to 5 year period.

And while you are making monthly payments in your chapter 13 case the bankruptcy court will keep your creditors at bay so that you can concentrate on getting out of debt, overcoming your debt problems, and moving forward with life.

I never try to sugar-coat the reality that bankruptcy does have its own set of consequences. However, for those of you facing serious debt problems it can simplify your life. It can help bring order and peace back into your home, and help you become debt free.

Can you imagine that? Debt free…

John Skiba is a bankruptcy/consumer lawyer working in the Phoenix area. He is the author of a bankruptcy blog at and a blog and podcast on debt collection issues at

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