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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wife Calls in Bomb Threats to Bank to Avoid Husband Finding About Bad Debts

I started to draft a post about how to react if you receive a foreclosure writ and will post that shortly, but an article in the Hartford Courant today caught my eye. As stated in the title above a Coventry woman desperate to avoid her husband from finding out about the financial mess their family was in called in bomb threats to their bank. According to the article she had lost her job and did not tell her husband about this financial mess. This is such a sad case for so many reasons. I have had clients contact me to file bankruptcy in similar situations where one spouse for various reasons has either accumulated debt or is aware of high debt that the other spouse is not aware of. It can be a very trying experience for both of them and in these initial meetings the phrase "counselor at law" comes to mind because their is a lot of counseling involved to smooth over the clients’ emotions to focus on what they need to do get a fresh start by filing bankruptcy.  This woman was obviously scared to face this issue with her husband. She may not been aware of or was afraid of bankruptcy as an option to provide relief from these debts.  In 2005 when the bankruptcy code was amended there was a tremendous amount of negative press generated about qualifying for bankruptcy and the demonization of people who do. I remember distinctly asking Elizabeth Warren, at that time still a relatively unknown Harvard professor, at a bankruptcy forum about the 2005 pro-creditor code amendments if Congress had considered what effect these changes would have on people facing desperate financial situations. Since then I have had to counsel many clients to overcome the shame they feel that they have to file bankruptcy.  Contrary to the opinion expressed by bankruptcy critics based on my experience the overwhelming majority of debtors file bankruptcy reluctantly and as a last resort. They have legitimate reasons and studies have shown that job loss, illness and high medical expenses, divorce and foreclosure are the primary reasons. I hope this woman gets the help she needs since her financial distress led her to a desperate and criminal act which has now only compounded her problems. In my opinion she needs immediate mental health care and a good criminal defense lawyer to help her. Eventually, she and her husband may need to file bankruptcy if the debts are as bad as they appear to be and they can get the relief the bankruptcy code was enacted to provide.

1 comment:

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