- Personal Finance
Living BK -- a look at life after bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition was filed on my behalf at 6:00 PM on July 14, 2010.
When I looked at myself in the mirror the next morning, there were no additional wrinkles on my face. The bags under my eyes were the same. My head had just as much hair as the day before…and it was the same color gray. No worse, no better than the day before. That was me the day after.
Filing BK hadn’t changed me. What it had changed was my financial situation – for the better, actually. Had I not filed, my house was to be sold out from under me. $300K in equity, seven years of upkeep, remodeling expense and dreams – vaporized.
Nope, for me, filing bankruptcy was the best choice, even though it was the second best option to stabilize my situation. The first option? Get more work. My profession is corporate film maker and writer. My major client is a Fortune 400 company. But in the 2009/2010 economy, convincing corporations to spend money with an outside services vendor – even one with whom they had worked for 12 years – was not the winning proposition it once was.
Exit projects. Enter bankruptcy. What I most needed besides projects was time to line some up. Bankruptcy was a move that would buy me some more time. It was the most advantageous choice in a less than desirable situation.
And this is an important point, in fact, the most important point all of us who are now living under the protection of a court-confirmed bankruptcy – or what we like to call, Living BK -- must embrace: Going bankrupt is nothing more than a finance management course of action. It is an option. It is a choice on the list of available financial tools.
It is not an indictment. It is not a moral statement. It is not a character assessment. It is merely a course of action that, quite frankly, saves your bacon.
In that light, it is a path to financial redemption. It can and will turn our lives around and put them on more solid ground.
Though I looked the same the morning after my BK filing, I did feel different. I felt relieved. I felt as though I were taking control of my situation, rather than being controlled by it.