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Who Files Bankruptcy & How To Know You're Ready

Before my clients file bankruptcy, they usually bring up one of their biggest concerns, "How do I know I'm ready to file?" Not everyone has a full understanding of what bankruptcy is, or if they do, may not feel ready. Whether or not you're in the beginning stages of filing bankruptcy, or just educating yourself on what it is, it still helps to know that you're not alone. And so, to help you, I composed a list of people you probably (definitely) know who have filed bankruptcy.

Larry King

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 Michael Jackson

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Abraham Lincoln

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Burt Reynolds

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HJ Heinz

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Cyndi Lauper

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This is just to name a few. There are many, many more famous people who have filed bankruptcy, including 50 Cent, Henry Ford and Walt Disney. 

A common misconception about bankruptcy is that it's somehow directly correlated to your character or moral worth. There is no direct correlation! Filing bankruptcy does not mean that you're any less of a person, that you're unworthy, that you're a failure or that you are somehow guilty of anything more than simply owing more than you can pay back. And this happens to the absolute best of us. HJ Heinz had to file because of unforeseen problems with a year's crop. But he kept going and ended up marketing one of the most-loved and popular condiments known in our time. 

So, how do you know you're ready?

If you're even considering bankruptcy, you're probably ready. If you are to the point where you are stressed, not answering your phone because you know it's going to be another creditor, hiding from the repo man, not paying other bills just to keep your lights on, not answering the door when there's a knock, trying to clear up old debt that you're suddenly getting garnished for, trying to save your house from foreclosure, your credit score is already hopelessly low, or you know you need a fresh start and there is no other way, then you are ready. If you're still unsure, talk to someone you know who has filed! I guarantee you'll be surprised with how much better they feel since filing.

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