In some communities, there is a stigma associated with bankruptcy. People can be quick to assume that a bankruptcy filing is the result of poor management of money or greed. However, this is simply not the case. Many people have no option but to file for bankruptcy because of the unfortunate circumstances that they are facing. They may have accumulated significant amounts of debt because of unforeseen medical bills, a job loss or a failed investment.

If you are going through financial hardships but you are hesitant to file for bankruptcy because you believe that it is unethical, you should consider the following when evaluating the right thing to do.

Have you managed your finances to the best of your ability?

Most of us manage our finances in the best way that we can. We try to earn an honest living so that we have the funds necessary to provide for ourselves and for our loved ones. But sometimes the strains of life can lead us into debt through no fault of our own.

Do you have other options?

When you are in a tough financial situation, you should consider all of your options before immediately filing for bankruptcy. If you are in a situation where you know that bankruptcy is the only realistic way in which to tackle your debts, then there is nothing unethical about filing for bankruptcy.

Will you benefit from bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that helps people in need. If you have assessed your options and have concluded that you will benefit from filing for bankruptcy, you have no reason to feel ashamed or guilty about the decision. Filing for bankruptcy can help those who are suffering due to overwhelming debt, but it is by no means an easy road. Regardless of whether you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to make sacrifices and tough decisions. However, ultimately you will be able to complete the bankruptcy and enjoy a debt-free future.

If you are considering bankruptcy but worry about how you will be perceived by other members of your community, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on bankruptcy and the ethics of filing.