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Filing for bankruptcy can carry emotional cost

Many people in Massachusetts still struggle in what seems to be a continuously sluggish economy. Those who get overwhelmed by financial obligations like credit card bills, medical expenses and high mortgages may choose to turn to bankruptcy for their debt relief needs.

However, according to some experts, filing for bankruptcy may carry with it enormous emotional costs that can inflict significant damage on the stability of a family.

Some of the anxiety that people often experience relates to misconceptions about bankruptcy. Some people, for example, believe that they will never be able to get a loan again after they file. While bankruptcy does affect one's credit, people can and do go on with their financial lives afterwards.

In fact, some experts encourage people to see bankruptcy as an opportunity for a fresh start at a financial life rather than the dark and gloomy end of a person's financial future.

Other debtors sometimes feel isolated and alone, as if they alone need debt relief through a bankruptcy. Experts point out that a wise debtor will learn from his or her financial mistakes, but that thousands if not millions of people just like him or her also choose bankruptcy as a viable option.

Debtors should know that some mental health professionals specialize in assisting people who are struggling with financial difficulties. Also, bankruptcy attorneys can be well acquainted with the emotional toll filing for bankruptcy takes and can try in their own way to provide support.

Bankruptcy can be a time-consuming and emotionally taxing process. However, the end of the process can mean a fresh financial start, and some emotional peace security, for those struggling with debt.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Surviving the emotional toll of bankruptcy," Daniel Bortz, Jan. 18, 2013

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