Obviously debt is not a medical condition, but as a bankruptcy trustee I can say from experience that severe debt can be a financial disability, with significant negative consequences. If you are sick you see a doctor. If you have excessive debt, you need to see a debt doctor, such as a bankruptcy trustee, for debt advice.
I recently met with a woman I’ll call Mary, although that’s not her real name. She had a good job, but she had incurred a lot of debt helping support her adult children. She was behind on her payments, and she was getting collection calls at work. Needless to say, getting phone calls from debt collectors was causing her a lot of stress. She was worried, and was having trouble sleeping at night.
Feeling tired all the time, Mary’s first option was to deal with her symptoms. She went to see her medical doctor to get a prescription for sleeping pills to help her sleep. Fortunately her doctor diagnosed the real problem: stress over her debts. He recommend that she see someone about her debt problem, and two days later she was meeting with me in my office.
My diagnosis was the same as her doctor’s: it was imperative that she reduce her stress, and to do that she needed to reduce her debt.
My prescription? Like any good Emergency Room doctor, the first task is to stop the bleeding. She agreed, and immediately called to cancel her credit cards (which was an easy decision, since they were all maxed out already). Then, we made a list of her debts, and prepared a budget to determine her monthly cash flow.
She had a good job, and could afford to pay $500 towards her debt each month. Unfortunately her minimum payments were closer to $1,500 per month. Her debt was too high to deal with on her own.
She required financial surgery. My debt advice: a consumer proposal.
We negotiated a settlement with her creditors where she will pay $500 per month for the next five years, and all of her debts will be discharged. Her creditors accepted the deal.
Mary is happy now, because the stress from her debts is gone. She has one monthly payment, and that’s it. No more financial stress.
Just what the debt doctor ordered.
If debt problems are causing you stress, or affecting your health, it’s time to eliminate the underlying problem. Contact a bankruptcy trustee today for advice.