What is the First Costly Emotion That Keeps You In Debt and from Filing Bankruptcy?


By:Michael A. Cibik

Emotions, not reasons, keep people from filing bankruptcy and starting fresh.

My fellow bankruptcy lawyer Jay Fleischman has it backwards when he says that for his clients, the decision to file is “purely emotional”.

Emotions stand between debtors and a rational decision that their debts can never be repaid and that bankruptcy is the solution.

Fear, stubbornness, and pride. Not as sexy as the seven deadly sins, but those three swirling emotions keep my clients mired in debt long after logic says “quit”.


Fear of the unknown probably kept our primitive ancestors alive. In the age of the internet when nothing remains unknown, it’s ironic that fear continues to keep people from filing bankruptcy.

People fear life in a consumer society without credit. They fear being branded as a failure. They fear the judgment of others about whether they are worthy of bankruptcy relief.

Some of this fear is rooted in bad information that circulates; some of it is deliberately planted by those who profit as long as you avoid the bankruptcy remedy.

I’m with Franklin Roosevelt: all we have to fear is fear itself.

Michael A. Cibik, Esquire

Michael A. Cibik is a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Cibik & Cataldo, P.C. He is one of the few attorneys in the Philadelphia area certified by the American Bankruptcy Board.

If you or someone you know is having financial problems, stop worrying and call Michael at (215) 735-1060 for a free consultation.


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