If you have been watching the news lately, you might have noticed that there has been a lot of what we will call “bankruptcy shaming” taking place on both sides of that aisle. What is bankruptcy shaming? Bankruptcy shaming is when one politician attempts to shame another politician because they filed bankruptcy at some point in their life. The most recent bankruptcy shaming stunt took place when it was discovered that a city council candidate filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and his bankruptcy plan did not call for the repayment of unsecured creditors. Opponents of this candidate, who apparently are also opponents of bankruptcy, attempted to shame the candidate and convince voters that he was somehow incompetent because of this Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
The fact the politicians are attempting to use bankruptcy shaming as a political tactic to win votes is just baffling. Don’t they realize that more and more Americans are choosing bankruptcy because they cannot get out from under the mounting debt in their lives? Don’t they realize that they may be alienating many of their voters by wagging their finger at those who choose to file bankruptcy to protect their assets and their loved ones? If you listened to some of the politicians who are so eager to use bankruptcy shaming to win elections, you would think that filing bankruptcy is a moral failing. At least that’s how they characterize bankruptcy. But the truth is that bankruptcy is not a moral failing, a matter of fact, politicians who choose to file bankruptcy have at least proven that they know when it’s time to cut their losses and try again.