The following scenario is not just imaginary. It really happened, which is why we share it. What may be most interesting to Arkansas readers is that the story is that of a professional debt counselor and money adviser.

A young man and woman marry after graduating from college. They have a combined total of $40,000 in student loans outstanding. They are flush with optimism about the future and don’t worry too much about finances. Before too long, they have an additional $20,000 in credit card debt.

Two daughters are born. The family moves up the housing ladder. All the while, the money manager dad is paying just the bare minimum on what is owed and debt continues to mount. 

Sometime between 2008 and 2010, with the bank threatening foreclosure on the three-bedroom house and other creditors sending dunning late notices, the professional debt counselor announces to his wife that they have to file for bankruptcy. They did that in 2011.

Today, the dad admits that despite his expertise in the field of debt management, he failed to apply what recommended to clients to himself. He acknowledges that a family of four in a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment is far from ideal and that the process has been painful. But he says that while he’s poorer, he’s also wiser.

The point we seek to make is that anyone can find themselves in a situation of financial duress, even an expert. The pressures don’t have to be faced alone. There are solutions available; bankruptcy being among them. Consulting an attorney is recommended as an important first step in finding the right one for your situation. 

Source: DailyFinance, “I’m a Debt Counselor … and I Filed for Bankruptcy,” Dave Landry, Jan. 27, 2014