Tale Of Two Bankruptcies

Some years ago, two people I knew well, in two different businesses, were forced into bankruptcy because of the economic downturn. But the outcomes of their bankruptcies were completely different.

The first of my friends had been meticulously careful about all of his bills and finances throughout his career. He had always paid at least the minimum amounts on his charge cards. If ever he had a financial problem, he went to the person affected and rearranged payments and interest. When he was finally forced into bankruptcy, by a massive and unexpected financial default over which he had no control, he had no choice but to go to court, give up all his assets, and walk away penniless.

But within a week, people were approaching him and offering him money, loans, offices, credit cards, a place to live, and a new car. One of his previous business associates, quite wealthy, mailed him a blank check already signed, saying, "Just fill in the amount you need and let me know for my records; I have complete faith in you." Aside from removing a great burden of debt from him, his bankruptcy hardly affected him at all.

The second businessman, however, had a completely different experience. When he started to have financial problems, he continually misled and deceived his creditors, people who had trusted him. He neglected to make payments he had promised, and wrote checks that he couldn't cover. He avoided his creditors when they phoned, and he eventually changed his telephone number. He moved and didn't tell anyone his new address. He treated people who had trusted him by lending him money as if they were stupid. When he finally went bankrupt, no one wanted anything to do with him. It will take him years to recover, if he ever does. He can't even get a credit card; he now has to pay cash for everything.

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