I actually think a lot of what Dave Ramsey says is correct. Not buying that new car frees up so much money that you and your family can use for other things. Waiting to buy something until you have the ability to pay cash is the very best way to live. Not having to worry about how you are going to pay the credit cards each month can make your life so much better and more fun.

 A lot of my clients have been working so hard to keep their head above water, that they have failed to make any plans for the future. When I meet with a client, one of my early questions that I will ask is: What do you want to be when you grow up? I know that may sound strange, but, you cannot get to some place unless you have a map or plan of how you will get there. For many of may clients, they have not thought about the answer to that question in a long time.

An early rule that I learned in life was that if I kept doing things the same way that I had be doing it, I would probably have the same result. What does this have to do with Dave Ramsey?

 Dave says that most people should not file bankruptcy. Debtors should try and work out a payment plan with their creditors. This is a very easy statement for someone such as Dave Ramsey to make. I think that the real statement is that a debtor must first decide what his or her goals really are. If paying your creditors and, in many cases, hurting yourself or your family is OK, then you should follow Dave’s advice.

The debtors that I meet with have, in most cases, been working on debts and dealing with creditors for a long time. These debtors are worn out mentally and physically. There relationships with family are often frayed and many times they have been working many extra hours and it has been a long time since they have had a discussion with their spouse or significant other that did not revolve around money that was owed to others. Most of my debtors have families, dreams, plans and thoughts that must be taken into account. A debtor with bad credit will have it reported on his or her credit bureau report for 7 years. Paying the money back will not take the bad credit off of the credit report.

 Debtors with families usually do not have the luxury of time. The fact is that children are growing older, need braces etc. Unless a debtor can write a book and make a bunch of money telling others how to manage their finances, their income is going to continue to be limited unless they do something else.

 Filing bankruptcy may free up money to take courses to increase your income. Tell Dave that the days of pay increases every year if you just hold on are long gone. In fact, even if you work hard, your job may just up and disappear. If you have gotten overextended, there is no pay raise next year that is going to help you cover the money you owe.

Even if you are barely holding on, what happens when a child gets sick and the health insurance, if you are lucky enough to have any, fails to cover all that is owed. If you are going to lose it all, go ahead and do it now. The sooner you start your new life the sooner that you will reach the goals of your new life. Dave is correct that you must be a realist about where you are and how you are going to get to where you want to end up.

Tell Dave, you have looked at your opportunities and you are going to file bankruptcy. Dave says that your credit will be hurt if you file bankruptcy. If you follow Dave’s advice, you will be living on and paying cash for what you want. If you do not use credit, you will not need credit. If you do not do something dramatic, you will be exactly where you are in future. Break the cycle.

 Instead of paying the creditors, use that money to take better care of your family, yourself or even take a well deserved vacation. Dave says that you should file bankruptcy if there is not a better way. I agree with what he says, but, I find that a better way is often bankruptcy whether a Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 for Charleston SC debtors.

Paying creditors is a noble idea. Making the best future for yourself, your spouse and family is much much more noble idea.

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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