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Many successful people have filed for personal bankruptcy

When financial strain has left an individual in dire need of debt relief, bankruptcy is often an option for consideration. That said, many California residents hold a number of misconceptions about personal bankruptcy, the most common of which is the idea that bankruptcy equates to some sort of personal failure. In reality, many successful individuals have sought bankruptcy protection over the years and have gone on to new levels of accomplishment.

When looking at the available options, most individuals seek Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those who move through Chapter 7 are usually able to eliminate a number of consumer debts, such as credit cards, medical bills or legal awards. Chapter 13 offers the chance to reorganize debt and allows filers to retain their homes and automobiles. Debt is restructured; when the new payment arrangement is satisfied, consumers can have some of their unsecured debt discharged.

Over the years, many successful business owners have used bankruptcy to address financial losses. An example is found in Henry Ford, who had an early business failure in a partnership with several politicians. Ford went through bankruptcy and then opened the Henry Ford Company, and later the Ford Motor Company. Bankruptcy gave him the ability to move beyond those early financial losses to new levels of success, and a place of honor among the history of American entrepreneurs.

When looking for debt relief options, California residents should give personal bankruptcy serious consideration. The process is in no way an indication of financial irresponsibility or personal failure. It is best viewed as a smart financial tool to turn a negative set of circumstances into an opportunity for future success.

Source:, "When should you consider bankruptcy?", Matt Mikus, July 24, 2015

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Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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