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To not feel sorry for a bankrupt

(63 Posts)
treesntrees Sun 24-Feb-13 22:13:07

AIBU not to have much sympathy for an acquaintance who has had to declare herself bankrupt because she has been left with debts incurred by borrowing up to the hilt to live the high life. ( Think cruises and expensive holidays). She was retired when she did this and ended up selling her house to pay off some of them. I have some sympathy for people who have worked very hard, perhaps in a business which has gone belly up, and can do nothing else but declare themselves bankrupt but not this. Somehow I feel people who live like her hurt the rest of us because someone has to pay for these debts and eventually it trickles down to the ordinary person in the street

FellatioNels0n Mon 25-Feb-13 18:25:12

I knew a woman like this once. Mid 40's, she was actually deeply unhappy and lonely, with low self-esteem (in spite of being a lovely warm, intelligent, albeit plain looking person) childless, and with a failed, abusive marriage behind her.

She spent money she didn't have to make herself feel like someone, and like life was worth living. She would go on cruises, shop compulsively, buying clothes and expensive make-up when she had no where to go to wear them. She would sit in Selfridge's champagne bar having lunch by herself as a 'treat'.

I could not really find it in my heart to be angry or bitter towards someone like that, even if some of her debt did 'trickle down' to me.

britafilter Mon 25-Feb-13 17:04:12

Our local paper doesn't print details of bankrupts, unless they are particularly interesting like a celebrity or high profile businessman. By law it's listed in the London Gazette, so it's public information, but hardly anyone would be looking at that, it's just a listing website of insolvencies, notices etc.

It cost me £525 to go bankrupt (there is an additional amount of £175 which I was exempt from paying due to benefits). So it's quite hard to raise this if you're on a low income, but I managed it by stopping repayments of loans, since they'd all be written off anyway.

maddening Mon 25-Feb-13 16:58:56

They charge a small admin fee which doesn't cover the cost. If there are assets or disposable income some more may be retrieved but most of that covers the cost of overseeing the bankrupt estate.

They review each case - usually you are now bankrupt for 1 year though it remains on the credit file as a discharged bankrupt. If they find a case of negligence or misconduct they can make the bankruptcy last for longer -up to 15 years for thw worst cases.

And it is still announced in a paper.

FairyJen Mon 25-Feb-13 16:57:33

Can I point out that it is actually quite easy to recreate a lifestyle image several posters mention things like wearing designer clothes etc. these could have been brought from a charity shop for all you know! I just bought dd some UGG boots for £4.78 on eBay. Roughly same price as cheap tat from primark! Or should I dress her in a bin liner do people don't think we are slashing the cash about??

You cannot know about people's finances and/or lifestyle unless you are actually personally involved in spending their money so why is it any if your business?

Scrazy Mon 25-Feb-13 16:56:40

I haven't seen it in the paper for a while not that I look. It happened to a friend and other friends didn't know until it was in the paper. I could see her spending was out of control.

They may charge but I bet it's a lot cheaper than actually having to pay back what you have blown.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Feb-13 16:53:08

Scrazy yes they do.

And they charge you to go bankrupt no matter what your financial circumstances

Scrazy Mon 25-Feb-13 16:48:45

Most of the people I know had it happen to was pre recession, when they printed it in the much read local paper (shame enough). Do they still do this?

Scrazy Mon 25-Feb-13 16:46:21

I know a handful of people that have declared themselves bankrupt. Spending was mainly on designer clothes, holidays and crap they didn't need. There wasn't much loss, kept the houses if they had them by transferring ownership and got it all written off.

I don't have sympathy and I don't know that any of them expected it. I'm sure they were relieved to get things under control. I would object to them doing it again and hope that the system prevents them racking up debt again and make them live within their means.

Feminine Mon 25-Feb-13 16:36:10

Seriously? I was deleted.

Some sensitive types here. Sensitive when it suits I fear.

So, I'll say it nicely. It is very mean to be horrible to people that face financial pain.

CremeEggScoffer Mon 25-Feb-13 14:51:25

I declared myself bankrupt 4 years ago, was the most terrifying thing I've ever done, my ex-h decided he was going to take loans out in my name and forged my signature, I tried to pay it all back but couldn't sad

Going bankrupt has certainly made me appreciate the money I have in my account, I've no need for overdrafts or credit cards, if I want something I save for it.

Your aquaintance will probably be feeling awful right now.

HorribleMother Mon 25-Feb-13 14:32:48

I can muster up some sympathy for most people.

expatinscotland Mon 25-Feb-13 14:29:02

And the spiteful, mean-spirited streak on MN continues! Recession brings out the worst in people.

TheSecondComing Mon 25-Feb-13 14:21:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrowSomeCress Mon 25-Feb-13 14:15:00

Fakebook I don't see anywhere on here laughing at it?

Fakebook Mon 25-Feb-13 13:43:48

I would never laugh at anyone's misfortune, even if they caused it themselves. Karma is a bitch.

Mumsyblouse Mon 25-Feb-13 13:40:08

For them, it's nothing about compensating for anything, it's about wanting to maintain an appearance of wealth. As it is/was for so many people.

I agree with this, however, I think people are so keen to see the fault in others, they don't look to themselves. Many of my friends are mortgaged up to the hilt with large houses, big gardens, extra bedrooms, kids not sharing bedrooms, all those things are also luxuries (i.e. not necessities) and also paid for with borrowed money. It's just they got lucky that their number wasn't called when the recession hit. Others are smug as they bought a long time ago and so have small mortgages. Again, lucky them.

It's easy to believe that you are very prudent and others are spenders, and indeed, there may be some very prudent MNetters who were both fortunate and sensible in buying their houses/spending their money. But as I say, most homeowners weren't (hence the negative equity) and they need to silently thank their lucky starts mortgate rates aren't spiralling (yet) instead of going on and on about all these people who had luxury holidays whilst they were oh so prudent when getting into debt for their larger than strictly necessary 'luxury' houses.

Not that I have had either a luxury holiday, or a big house, or indeed have been bankrupt, but I hate the smuggery around blaming others for their spending ways on MN- most people overspent, that's why we are as a nation effectively bankrupt (and have to keep borrowing at high rates).

LayMizzRarb Mon 25-Feb-13 13:24:37

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Feminine Mon 25-Feb-13 13:20:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TroublesomeEx Mon 25-Feb-13 13:16:52

My BIL and his wife took out an IVA last year.

They have 3 children. They all wear designer clothes, they take expensive overseas holidays, they have all the latest gadgets which get updated as soon as the new version comes out, they have a Land Rover Discovery and a Mercedes.

She doesn't work, he does and earns around £16k. They live in a 2 bed flat.

For them, it's nothing about compensating for anything, it's about wanting to maintain an appearance of wealth. As it is/was for so many people.

I certainly don't think bankruptcy is an easy option, but that's not the point being made here. I just don't think everyone who becomes bankrupt is a victim. One of the reasons they stopped allowing people to declare themselves bankrupt over student debts is because so many people were doing it at 21 just to clear the debts, loans and credit cards they'd accrued during their student days.

And I've just spoken to my brother, one of his friends knew they were facing bankruptcy and he also took out just one more loan and blew it on a fantastic holiday because it wouldn't make any difference as he was going bankrupt anyway.

KellyElly Mon 25-Feb-13 13:15:43

I assuming you have lived a blameless and perfect life and have never made any mistakes? If so then YANBU, if not then YABU and pretty heartless to not feel some sympathy for a another human being who is going through a hard time. She may have brought it on herself and is probably painfully aware of this fact but she hasn't committed some heinous crime, she's just been really stupid and is paying the price for it.

britafilter Mon 25-Feb-13 13:14:33

I have been declared bankrupt due to ill health. It is definitely not an easy option, it takes a huge emotional toll and stays on your credit records for six years. I was quite fortunate that I was renting at the time so I didn't lose my home - I think it would have been much worse if I'd lost my home like person in the OP and I'd feel sorry for anyone in that position.

However, there are some inaccuracies on this thread. There are quite a few banks offering basic bank accounts now, which are available free to bankrupts. I had a Co-op account, which offered internet banking and the only difference to a normal account is that I couldn't have a cheque book or overdraft, which I never used anyway so didn't notice the difference.

My utility bills were never affected (I never got into debt with any of my utility bills so they were never made aware of my bankruptcy). Some contents insurers do ask about bankruptcy, but I researched them online and chose from the handful of companies which are known to not ask about bankrupts (and one of these offered the best overall quote anyway).

There are very few jobs which now bar bankrupts permanently, I know of a childminder who took it up after bankruptcy. Even many professional careers aren't affected, once the year of undischarged bankruptcy is over.

I think the worst part of bankruptcy is the stigma, but I avoided that by just not telling anyone unless I was legally required to. I haven't even told my family. (The bankruptcy listings are publicly available but in practice no one I know ever reads the London Gazette where it is listed, and it's not even searchable on Google).

Snootymum Mon 25-Feb-13 13:14:05

I know 3 people that all spent and lived the high life then just declared bankruptcy. One of them even had a load of cosmetic surgery knowing she would be defaulting on the finance payments.

I have zero sympathy for people in that position

Jins Mon 25-Feb-13 13:11:23

This isn't a member of OP's family that has been getting sympathy for ages.

THis is an 'acquaintance'. Someone not close enough even to describe as a friend.

So OP thinks it will make a great thread starter about someone she perhaps vaguely knows that has lost everything. Nice

It isn't that long ago that banks were loaning money out for the most spurious stuff. One of my neighbours extended their mortgage to have laser eye surgery. There was little or no guidance and people were encouraged to worry about the future when it happened.

The future's now here

SusanneLinder Mon 25-Feb-13 13:00:55

And so some people say it was all spent on cruises and holidays. Anyone considered that some people spend to compensate for other things going on in their lives-loneliness,mental health issues,bipolar etc?

At the end of the day-bankruptcy is NOT an easy option.Stigmatised for ever cos there are always that box on application forms that has the question "have you ever been declared bankrupt?" In bankruptcy it bars you from certain jobs inc childminding strangely.

There is only one bank account that accepts bankrupts making it difficult for people to even pay their bills, utility companies want a deposit or make you take a prepayment meter, insurance companies now credit check and you have to pay your insurance up front and not by Direct Debit.

I am so glad you all think it is an easy option. And remember, we are all only a couple of paychecks away from destitution.

MeSoFunny Mon 25-Feb-13 12:59:12

A member of our family has declared themselves bankrupt but not after first lying to everyone about cash flow and clearing out his parents' retirement savings as well as taking a large amount of money from us without ever intending to pay it back. We all started off being supportive and sympathetic (clearly) but have all been taken for a ride. It's insulting.

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