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Many successful people choose Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Some California readers will recognize the name Patrice Washington. The 34-year-old woman is a personal finance expert, and she has written three books on how to deal with financial turmoil and find future success. What many people do not know is that Washington has had to dig herself out of financial difficulties twice in her life -- once with the help of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.

The first time that Washington found herself in a financial crunch was after college, when she had amassed $18,000 in credit card debt. She was able to pay that debt off by scrimping and saving and putting every resource toward paying down those debts. Later in life, Washington and her husband owed more than $2 million in debt from a combination of personal and business expenses.

The last time, no amount of careful budgeting and repayment efforts would have been sufficient to pay down the debt. A more aggressive approach was required, and it was available in the form of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. That move allowed Washington and her husband to shed a great deal of their consumer debt. She now has an income that is more than $300,000 per year, and a credit score in the high 700s.

As this case demonstrates, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a tool often used by people who have achieved significant levels of success. In Washington's case, bankruptcy provided the means of addressing medical, personal and business debt. She was able to achieve a fresh financial start, which allowed her to continue to pursue success in her chosen career field. That is an outcome that many in California would like to achieve.

Source:, "How Patrice Washington rebuilt her life after $2 million of debt", Haley Goldberg, Jan. 2, 2016

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