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How To Remove Guilt From Debt

Debt And Guilt Go Together, Flume LawMost people that I see for an initial consultation are there only as a result of a lot of sleepless nights.  They are people that want to pay their bills, they’re losing sleep as a result of not being able to pay their bills, and now they want to know their options.

The average client that I see is carrying two burdens: the burden of debt that they can’t pay, and the burden of guilt associated with not being able to pay their debts.

There are ways of handling the debt problem, and you can get lots of information about that on this website and others.  However, there isn’t the same amount of information or guidance for handling the guilt that goes along with the debt problem.  Perhaps it is because the relief from guilt comes from God, whereas the relief from debt is handled by our legal system.

I talked with a client last week who essentially was wanting the legal system to handle her debt problem and her guilt problem.  She earns $1,600/month in after-tax income as a dog groomer.  She’s barely getting by.  She insisted on filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is the form of bankruptcy where you make a payment to the Chapter 13 trustee, who then pays your creditors with that cash flow.  But, when you look at her budget, she didn’t have any disposable income to make that payment.  As a result, I told her that she should file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is the form of bankruptcy where there is no monthly payment.  Although she understood that the budget showed that there was no money to make a payment with, she still insisted on a Chapter 13 so that she would be paying something to her creditors.  Since the math didn’t add up, I knew that there was a bigger problem: the guilt.

Like I tell all of my clients, you have to look at all of your options, including ones you don’t think you’d like, and then pick the option that’s best for you.  More importantly, you have to pray about all of your options, put a pencil to all of the numbers, and sleep on it.  The option that gives you the most peace is likely the option that you should take.

For this client, we spent a bit more time on this issue.  Basically, I told her that only God is going to help her with that guilt, not the bankruptcy system.  I suggested that she take that guilt to God in prayer.

If you are struggling like her, then do some soul searching and realize that if God can save you from sin by providing you the free gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, then He can save you from the guilt associated with your debt problem.

At the conclusion of my free, initial consultations, I provide clients a business card, then I give them another card, and I tell them that it is more important than my card.  It is a Scripture card with Hebrews 13:6 on the front – read it when you get a chance.  Below is a copy of the back of that card.

Debt And Guilt Go Together

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