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What do people fear the most about bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can be a loaded term for a lot of people. They have numerous fears about the process, some of which may be founded more in myth than reality.

First of all, people worry that all of their property is going to be taken away from them. They want to file, but not at the expense of everything that they own.

The reality, though, is that there are many exemptions. If you do the process correctly, a lot of your personal property is actually protected.

Others worry that they will never be able to get another credit card or take out a mortgage and buy a home for their families. While it may take a bit of time to get back to this point, you can get another mortgage and you can buy a home -- in most cases. Once the debt is discharged, the credit rebuilding phase begins.

As for credit cards, there are options specifically for those who have declared bankruptcy. Some of these cards are unsecured and some are secured. You just have to find the right one for your situation.

Finally, people worry that everyone will know that they filed. This fear is grounded in the fact that the bankruptcy record is technically public. While that's true, the news tends to focus on corporate filings and occasionally celebrities. Most people will never know that you filed unless they have a reason to dig into it or you tell them.

If you've been worrying about bankruptcy, maybe it's time to really explore all of your options so that you know the legal realities, and not the myths.

Source: The Balance, "The Three Biggest Bankruptcy Fears," Carron Armstrong, accessed April 14, 2017

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