Recently, I was spending time with my five year old great-niece, Bayleigh, and she began to sing along with the tune on the radio. The song was “Let It Go” from her favorite movie, Frozen (a Disney movie). If you are a parent of a young girl, you probably know the words by heart, thanks to your daughter (or in my case, my niece).
After hearing the lyrics of the song, it got me thinking about numerous clients that I have helped over the years as a bankruptcy attorney. It is difficult to hear the struggle that they are going through to save their property as they explain their sleepless nights, lack of family time due to working overtime and their fear of debt collectors taking their property. Many of my clients trying to hang on to their property eventually realize that they are missing out on the joys of life now because of their struggle with keeping that property. When I recognize this, I ask these clients some of the following questions:
- Is your home worth far less than what you owe? If yes, then it has become an expense rather than an asset.
- Do you have to work overtime to pay your house note and/or car payment?
- Are you spending less time with your family because of the struggles of paying your house or car payment?
- Are you having trouble sleeping at night because of you are worried that your vehicle or home may be taken away?
- Are you having trouble sleeping at night because you don’t know how you are going to be able to make your house and/or car payment?
- Are you having marital problems because you have become withdrawn from worrying about your finances?
If my client answers, YES, to any of those questions, we discuss the benefits they may see if they were to let some of their property go back to the creditor. Letting go of property is NEVER an easy decision, but it is a very difficult choice that some must make on their path to financial freedom. Usually, after clients choose to let their property go, they have a sense of relief because the debt is no longer holding them back from enjoying life and their family. Just like the theme of the song “Let It Go” that my niece sings, sometimes letting go will result in being free and in the grand scheme of things, the property really never mattered much anyway.
Making the tough decision to let your property go does not mean that you are a failure. It does not mean that you will NEVER have those things again. In fact, if you are forced to make that decision, I believe that it shows strength and courage and is the first step to turning your finances around so that in the future you can one day afford those items.
If you file bankruptcy, it does not mean you have to let your property go but if you cannot afford it and are struggling to make ends meet, you are not alone. Call your local Bond & Botes office to meet with one of our experienced attorneys today to setup your free consultation to discuss your options.