The 5 Emotional Phases Of Filing BankruptcyFor most people money is a very emotional issue.  And when faced with financial problems many people experience a torrent of negative emotions that can leave them feeling emotionally drained and helpless. For those debtors who choose bankruptcy, going through the process can bring on a series of different emotions as they come to terms with the reality of their situation:

Phase 1: Denial.  The first phase for most debtors before they file bankruptcy is a denial that they even need to file bankruptcy.  Many people remain in this phase for years while their financial situation worsens.  Others even remain in denial after filing bankruptcy, later deciding that they want to change their mind or pay all their debts back after the bankruptcy even though they don’t have the income to do so.

Phase 2: Anger. The second phase for debtors is a feeling of anger, which usually takes place after filing bankruptcy or right before.  Debtors feel angry at themselves for “allowing” themselves to become indebted or they may even become angry at the “system” that put them into bankruptcy.

Phase 3: Bargaining. The third emotional phase for debtors filing bankruptcy is bargaining.  Many debtors try to negotiate their way through the bankruptcy process by putting some debts in the bankruptcy case while illegally leaving others out.  Or, like in phase 1, they may try to reaffirm debts with the hope that they will be on better terms with the creditor by doing so.  Unfortunately this bargaining never works. 

Phase 4: Depression. Many debtors may feel a sense of despair right before filing bankruptcy or right after because they feel that they have failed financially.  Fortunately, for most debtors this feeling is short lived as they experience the positive power bankruptcy has on their finances, which takes us to the final emotional phase.

Phase 5: Acceptance and relief.  Once their bankruptcy process has completed, most debtors feel relieved that they filed bankruptcy and accept the fact that they must now work hard to rebuild their credit.