The decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one. For many, bankruptcy is seen as a desperate, last act of someone who has made a series of very bad decisions, and it carries with it a deep sense of shame and even failure.

However, it should not be seen that way.

It may in fact be the best decision you have ever made.

Bankruptcy was never intended as a punishment or public shaming.

The purpose of bankruptcy is to give you a chance to work out an equitable settlement of your overwhelming debts, put your past financial mistakes behind you, and make a fresh start. Many myths have grown up around bankruptcy that may make you reluctant to take that first bold step to building a new future for you and your family, free of your past debts.

Here’s a few bankruptcy myths that can be easily busted:

Bankruptcy is a personal failure At its heart, bankruptcy is an honest debtor assuming responsibility for his debts and working with his creditors to resolve his debts in the most mutually beneficial way possible for both debtor and creditor. Bankruptcy is far from a personal failure.

Everyone will know The stigma that somehow family, friends and business associates will know you have declared bankruptcy is a great fear for many people. However, the only ones who will know are the court, your creditors, and your attorney. There is no public notice or ‘wall of shame’ — no one will know unless you choose to tell them.

I will lose everything I own Absolutely not true. One of the tenets of bankruptcy is that you are allowed to keep certain personal property, even those under lien. This varies from state to state but normally shields such things as your primary residence under certain conditions. Both state and federal law also allows for a wide range of exemptions for personal belongings.

I will never have credit again False. Bankruptcy effectively resets your credit and wipes away your old debt. This will give you a prime opportunity to rebuild your credit rating. One way is to get a single, low-limit card, and pay off the balances every month. The key is to never charge more than you can pay off in a single month and never use more than 40% of the credit available on the account.

Filing bankruptcy is a hard, confusing process Filing for bankruptcy on your own can be a daunting proposition. However, competent legal representation with bankruptcy experience can take care of the entire process for you. The decision to file for bankruptcy should never be made without discussing the matter first with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, who can guide you through the process and help you decide if bankruptcy is the right decision for you.

Contact us for more information on how you can use bankruptcy to get a fresh start.