Guest Post by Euphrosene Labon
‘Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.’– Frank Borman, former CEO of bankrupt Eastern Airlines
Ebbs and flow in revenue generation are a fact of life, even for the super-rich. But when income appears to dry up altogether, the idea of bankruptcy can seem like a blessed lifting of an intolerable burden.
A few years ago, I was in that deeply dark pit of ‘financial ruin’. Although advised to, I chose not to sue for bankruptcy. It’s difficult to describe a life with no visible means of support. ‘Poverty’ becomes very personal indeed. But, after what felt like ten lifetimes, I settled without any CCJs and only the repossession of a car. Just one financial institution was a total nightmare.
So how did I manage to avoid bankruptcy?
From the very beginning, I had kept all my creditors informed of my situation, and all, bar one, tried hard to help me find a way to suit both parties. While my house was eventually a casualty, and I had to start from scratch again, oddly-enough it was not repossessed. Indeed, when a mutually-agreed plan fell through, my building society asked me to move back in again. A house is more saleable when it is lived in. A point in your favour—and every point should be counted.
Although my credit rating was in minus figures until I did settle, I still managed to get a laptop with interest-free finance, and was able to get a mortgage again without any problems whatsoever.
Was I just lucky? There certainly wasn’t any family or government support.
Or is there some magic formula to avoid spending time on the streets? (Apparently many men have ended up on the streets following divorce and business failure).
For me, the only magic ingredient was communicating. I sent regular letters to my creditors and it kept the rottweilers off for all those horribly long years. It also meant I got some rather lovely letters back: ‘let me offer you a ray of sunshine from an unlikely corner‘—and that one was from the Inland Revenue!
If your finances are troubling you too, talk to someone, preferably the supplier.
Brown envelopes can be distressing, but be courageous and take the lead. Offer a plan of re-payment. I had the additional challenge of being self-employed, with no financial umbrella. My plan had to start with getting a PAYE job again—and it was at the time of the last recession.
Develop patience and find ways to keep your self-esteem. And remember, as the philosopher said: ‘Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.‘
Euphrosene Labon is an author, artist, journalist and copywriter. Her specialised subject is everything to do with mind body spirit. However, she is also a pragmatist, having spent over 25 successful years in IT sales and business development. Visit www.EuphroseneLabon.com.