Bankruptcy can affect people of all ages and all demographics. While we often speak about how the process can affect couples or individuals, this article will discuss how bankruptcy affects families. Notably, we will highlight the benefits families may experience by filing for bankruptcy.

Understandably, most people focus on the financial relief offered to them through bankruptcy. But for many families, the benefits extend beyond the checkbook. Let’s take a look at the more intangible ways that bankruptcy can help the family dynamic.

  1. Significant Reduction in Stress Levels: When a family can’t seem to escape the never-ending reality of debt, late and overdraft fees, high-interest rates, and even legal costs, the anxiety can result in heightened cortisol levels – which translates to the increased stress that can affect family relationships. Stress is even known to cause a multitude of health issues. Families can remove the pressure and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere by eliminating the source of stress.
  2. Positive Change in Direction: Overwhelming debt doesn’t just cause problems financially; it affects every aspect of life. The family can feel that they can’t have any fun, go out to eat, or celebrate birthdays. Although it is prudent to minimize expenditures when in financial difficulty, a family can feel that they are losing some of their most cherished traditions – and parents can feel guilt about how the situation is affecting the children. The positive effects can be meaningful and far-reaching when given an opportunity for financial freedom. The positive change in a family’s trajectory can benefit the entire family.
  3. More Effective Use of Time & Money: Eliminating the majority of debt through Chapter 13 bankruptcy (or all debt through Chapter 7) gives families a new lease on life. When debt is removed from the monthly equation, budget dollars are freed up and can be used for things more important to the family. Bankruptcy allows families to stop worrying and struggling and to spend their time and money more wisely.
  4. Better Sleep and Improved Health: When someone files for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is the first thing to take effect. This stay will prohibit collectors from contacting the debtor in order to attempt to collect payment. This means families can breathe easier and stop worrying about checking the mail, answering the phone, or checking their emails. Filers won’t feel stressed about dodging the repo man or answering the front door. When this stress is alleviated, and people can get on with living their life without looking over their shoulders, life can be significantly improved. The constant, prolific dread is removed, allowing for a better night’s sleep and often enhanced health. After all, high-stress levels can adversely impact many areas of our health, including raising blood pressure, causing migraines, and affecting digestion.

There are many ways that bankruptcy can provide relief to families, but we don’t want to minimize the complexity that achieving financial freedom can entail. We want to help you and your family to get back on the road to recovery. If you have questions about bankruptcy and how the bankruptcy process could assist your family, contact the Sarasota law offices of Richard V. Ellis.

Richard Ellis has decades of experience helping area residents regain financial footing and leave the stress of financial crisis in the past.