As a bankruptcy attorney for many years, I have heard over and over, I am so embarrassed and I hope my friends do not find out that I filed bankruptcy. I understand why people feel this way, but, you need to stop feeling bad about filing. The Los Angeles Dodgers were, at one time, known as the Brooklyn Dodgers. They were losing money and could not compete with the New York Yankees and were slowly going broke.

What they did was what most of your ancestors did when the going got tough. The Dodgers got going and moved to Los Angeles. The Dodgers made money hand over fist for years, but, times have gotten tough once again. This time the Dodgers could not pick up and move to a new city that would give the Dodgers a bunch of money. The Dodgers could not fix the financial woes by moving like they did when the Dodgers left Brooklyn.

Most people have a false picture of what happened to cause their ancestors to come to America. A few came as slaves and had no choice, but, to come. The people who bought the slaves had, in many cases, come to America as virtual slaves themselves. Your ancestors who were not slaves often sold themselves as indentured servants for seven years to be allowed to come to America. The advantage of the indentured servant was that the bonded service ended at some point in time, but, most slaves never were freed.

If you ancestor was fat, happy and sassy in Europe, he or she was not very likely to get on a ship and risk dying at sea from a storm, sickness, starvation or whatever caused many of the ships bringing people to the new world to end up on the bottom of the ocean.

If your ancestors went to St. Joseph, Missouri to join a wagon train, they did not do that because they were doing wonderfully from wherever they came. No one agrees to walk across a hot, dry plains and climb mountains risking their life and the lives of their spouse and children to thirst, hunger, cholera, Indian attacks or simply freezing to death.

What most of those people had in common was that they had failed wherever they were coming from. They had not been able to make enough money to have a decent life back home. The black migration from the South to the North was caused mostly because blacks could not find jobs in the South that would allow them to have a decent life for themselves and their children.

Today, you cannot just leave where you are and leave your debts and troubles behind. My Mother’s family left North Carolina to go with Daniel Boone to help take over Kentucky. They were not asked to come by the Indians and several family members died fighting the Indians who were not very happy with the white intruders. I have no illusions about why people would leave North Carolina for Kentucky and neither should you. They were not successful in North Carolina and went to Kentucky to try and find a second, better life.

Our great country is not about success, it is about second chances. In most of the world, if you owe money to someone and do not pay it, you go to jail, have fingers and limbs cut off or have other very violent punishments. Our country said that was such a silly way to act towards those who have hard times.

Our country is about second chances and bankruptcy can and often is the way to get a second chance. Do not hang your head in shame if you are having some financial problems. Take a look at your situation and see what needs to be done so that you can get your life going again and you can achieve your goals. If you are looking at your feet, it is very difficult to see what is up ahead.

If you do not like where you are today in life and do nothing to change what you are doing, it is very likely that one year or five years from now, you will be in exactly the same position as you are now. I wonder what happened to the ones who stayed in Oklahoma in the Dust Bowl years. I would bet you that most of the folks who left and went to California to start a new life are glad that they did.

In order to climb a ladder, sooner or later you must let go of the rung that you are holding onto so that you can reach up and grab the next one. Or, you can stay where you are and go NOWHERE!!!!

Bankruptcy is about second chances and the “fresh start”.   Will you take the steps to start your new life?


About Nathan Davis, Esquire

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Nathan Davis has been practicing law for many years. Mr. Davis has a wide variety of experiences having practiced domestic relations, criminal law, social security law having also practiced collection law in the past. This knowledge is helpful when someone needs to restart their financial life. The practice is now primarily bankruptcy and debtor representation work, but, Mr. Davis continues to also practice real estate law, trusts and estates and a general litigation practice. I believe that the most important part of representation is trying to leave you better off when the case is finished than when you started. Although I will do as my client directs, I will always tell you if I think that you are making a mistake. Bankruptcy is about a "fresh start". If you do not make changes in what you are doing, you will be doing what you are doing now in the future. There is no shame in bankruptcy or other steps that you may take to start your life over. Too often, people worry more about things than about themselves, their family or their future.
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