There a number of life circumstances that cause people to file bankruptcy in Minnesota. Among these reasons are job loss, reduction in income, serious illness, and other unforeseen circumstances that leave people in a financial situation wherein they are unable to pay their debts. Many Minnesotans struggle with an addictions such as gambling, drinking, substance abuse, and compulsive spending. Many of these same people would be tremendously benefited by filing for chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy but fail to do so due to fear or shame for having their addictions brought to light when they file their bankruptcy case. This should not be so.
It is, in fact, highly courageous for person suffering from an addiction to stand up and take control of their financial circumstances by choosing to file for bankruptcy. People often incorrectly believe that they will be harshly judged for their addictive behavior, which often is a primary cause for their poor financial circumstances and may be the reason they have incurred so much debt. People also often falsely assume their bankruptcy case will be negatively impacted by the fact that their addiction was the source of their debt problems, due to the fact that society, at-large, often unfairly blames and condemns these people for their behavior.
The reality is that the bankruptcy court does not judge people for having these types of addictions. People are often surprised to learn that the bankruptcy court really isn’t very concerned about how and why a person incurred the debt that they have. It is typically legally irrelevant to their case. The specific reasons why a person incurred debt is usually only legally relevant if the person intentionally took on debt fraudulently or with the deliberate bad intent to harm their creditors (i.e. if a person buys a hot tub two with a credit card two days before filing bankruptcy knowing that they would not have to pay for it). Incurring debt as a consequence of a person’s addictive or compulsive behavior will almost certainly not impair their ability to successfully complete their case and receive a discharge of their debts, so long as they comply with the bankruptcy court rules and procedures, and did not incur such debt with any bad intent to defraud their creditors.
Minnesotans struggling with an addiction or compulsive behavior should seek professional help and there a number of resources for people online. If you have an addiction or have compulsive behavior, which has negatively affected your financial situation and caused you to take on excessive debt, you should first consult with health professionals to treat your addictive behavior, and then, consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney about getting rid of your debt.
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At LifeBack Law Firm we do not judge anyone. We just help people get their life back. We now have a new office location at 370 Selby Ave, Suite 224, Saint Paul MN 55102. Come visit us there, or online, at lifebacklaw.com!