Published On: February 21, 2018

Pamela Foohey, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Robert M. Lawless, University of Illinois College of Law
Katherine M. Porter,  University of California – Irvine School of Law
Deborah Thorne,  University of Idaho

Date Written: February 20, 2018  94 Notre Dame Law Review __ (forthcoming 2018)

Abstract

The time before a person files bankruptcy is sometimes called the financial “sweatbox.” We find that people are living longer in the sweatbox before filing bankruptcy than they have in the past. In the article we describe someone’s health and well-being are affected by their time in the sweatbox.  For those people who struggle for more than two years before filing bankruptcy—the “long strugglers”—their time in the sweatbox is particularly damaging.

afraid of filing bankruptcy

Strugglers: those who need help, but afraid to ask

During their years in the sweatbox, long strugglers deal with persistent collection calls, go without healthcare, food, and utilities, lose homes and other property, and yet remain ashamed of needing to file.

For these people in particular, though time in the sweatbox undermines their ability to realize bankruptcy’s “fresh start,” they do not file until long after the benefits outweigh the costs. This Article’s findings challenge longstanding narratives about who files bankruptcy and why. These narratives underlie our laws, influence how judges rule in individual cases, and affect how attorneys interact with their clients.

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Can I Help You?

MUSINGS BY DIANE:

If I had one wish it would be that we all help each other.  There are so many people living in fear – whether because of abuse or financial nightmares.  If we as family, friends or neighbors would take a few minutes to talk with these people struggling then perhaps we can help guide them to solutions, or at least be a helpful ear.

Remember – their situation could happen to us in a blink of an eye.

By |Published On: February 21st, 2018|Last Updated: July 14th, 2022|

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About the Author: Diane Drain

Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.

*Important Note from Diane: Everything on this web site is offered for educational purposes only and not intended to provide legal advice, nor create an attorney client relationship between you, me, or the author of any article. Information in this web site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney familiar with your personal circumstances and licensed to practice law in your state. Make sure to check out their reviews.*

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5 / 5

“You folks are the BEST OF THE BEST in Arizona.” M.H.

You and Jay are the best attorneys I have ever had or needed and thank God for the Honorable Robert Gottsfield in recommending you folks – I would have never made it through the entire process without you and Jay and God Bless you both always and stay in touch as well. You folks are the BEST OF THE BEST in Arizona.

5 / 5

“My only regret is that I didn’t find Diane sooner.” K.H.

I can’t say enough good things about Diane. The way she handled my not typical circumstances was amazing. I was very nervous to start the bankruptcy process but Diane just has a very comforting way of explaining the whole process. My only regret is that I didn’t find Diane sooner. If you find yourself in a financial situation that you can’t correct on your own, please Call Diane Drain as soon as possible.

5 / 5

“Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event” R.A.

Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event, and selecting the right attorney can add to this stress. Diane and Jay were a pleasure to work with, and it is obvious that they are passionate about helping people get their life back on track. I would highly recommend them if you need a bankruptcy attorney.

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