7 Famous People Who Filed for Bankruptcy (and what you can learn from them)

Tax man troubles. Bad investments. Shady financial advisors. Lavish spending. These are some of the pitfalls that lead the rich and famous to file for bankruptcy.  Most famous folks end up filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a much less common form (7,735 filings in 2018, compared with 480,933 for Chapter 7 and 290,566 for Chapter 13). But some of their … Read more

I’m a Social Worker, Struggling With Debt, and Wondering if I Should Declare Bankruptcy? – Kate

Question: Dear Steve, 40-year-old single mom, 2 master’s degrees (still paying off at $700/mo), always gainfully employed as a clinical social worker, currently at same job past 8 years and currently at $66k/yr. The problem: after becoming pregnant 3 years ago, my ex dumped me, I relocated back to my hometown and moved in with … Read more

My Bank Won’t Work With Me So I Can Pay My Debt

Question: Dear Steve, The bank called me and told me that I must pay 12600 first before I can apply for account restructuring with an interest rate of 1%. I was not able to pay it as of now because I am jobless. What should I do or how should I respond to the threats … Read more

I Heard if I Make Token Payments I Can’t Be Sued. Is That True? – Oliver

Question: Dear Steve, I started a collision repair business in 2011 and it started off well but it started dying out slowly but surly, the area kept getting worse and worse not to mention my rent was $2500 per month not including all of my other bills. So the scary part came when I had … Read more

New Bankruptcy Forms Make It Easier to File Without an Attorney

Now don’t get me wrong, there is no substitute for the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. But for decades people have been filing out their own bankruptcy petitions, because they can. The forms were not geared for the average person to easily figure out. On December 1, 2015 the bankruptcy forms … Read more

Here is Exactly Why People Who File Bankruptcy Are Smart

I seem to spend a lot of time educating people that most everything they know about bankruptcy is just plain wrong. In fact a friend of mine just told me they were going to file bankruptcy and my answer was, “congratulations.” You see, even studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have come … Read more

The Fresh Start of a Bankruptcy May Restore Credit Faster

People consider filing bankruptcy when the alternative has become worse. Figuring out if you are at that point though can be difficult. One misconception that makes people hesitate to file bankruptcy is the impact on their credit. An in depth study by the Federal Reserve Bank comparing the credit of people who’ve filed bankruptcy with … Read more

How Avoiding Bankruptcy Can Backfire

In the world of personal finance, credit concerns and debt issues, there is no single issue that is more misunderstood than bankruptcy. Recently the Federal Reserve Bank of New York came out with an exceptional report on the bankruptcy reform of 2005 — which made it tougher for people to file bankruptcy, and was the … Read more

Those That File Bankruptcy Do Better Than Those That Don’t

This report is republished from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and contains the authors analysis and finding about bankruptcy following the 2005 reform. Personal bankruptcy was introduced in the United States through the Bankruptcy Act of 1978. After passage of the act, bankruptcy rates rose steadily until 2005, when Congress passed the Bankruptcy … Read more

My Elderly Mother is Struggling in Credit Counseling. What About Bankruptcy? – Tracey

“Dear Steve, My mother is 77 years of age. Her memory is no longer the best for her finances and she gets confused as to who gets paid what and how much. the debts, even though she doesn’t even use the cards but one walmart for groceries the interest rates and payments have gone over … Read more

Bankruptcy is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

During my first job interview after my bankruptcy, the interviewer asked me what I was “most proud of in my life.” Without hesitating, I stated “declaring bankruptcy!” His quizzical look invited me to explain. And I’ll share what I told him, in just a minute. First though, here’s a Pop Quiz for you: Was going … Read more

You Literally Saved My Life and Financial Future. Thank You. – Steve

“Dear Steve, I just wanted to say thank you as I owe you a debt of gratitude! My partner lost his job due to a health issue and has been unemployed for five years–I tried (in vain) to sustain my debts. I tried every resource to stay afloat. I quickly learned that there are resource … Read more