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Many see bankruptcy in new light in altered economy

A financial commentator for a national news outlet notes in a recent article the one-time depiction of bankruptcy as "a shameful last resort."

Robert Massi also notes in that same article that any stigma that once attached to a personal bankruptcy filing has largely -- and perhaps even entirely -- dissipated, owing to what he calls a "new landscape" that has flatly altered the economic circumstances of many millions of American individuals and families.

What Massi is centrally driving at in an article he recently penned for Fox News is that the economic realities that currently face many people are singularly different from the financial factors that routinely challenged them even a few short years ago.

Many of our readers across South Florida and elsewhere certainly understand what Massi is talking about. How many homeowners could reasonably have foreseen the great housing collapse several years back? How many among us accurately predicted that millions of Americans would lose their jobs in what came to be known as the Great Recession?

Massi certainly strikes a personal chord with many consumers when he acknowledges that they "have been battered by economic forces beyond [their] control."

In a sense, that mass economic dislocation has rendered bankruptcy as a highly egalitarian -- and, importantly, stigma-free -- solution that makes eminent sense for high numbers of people who might have opted to slog it out in bygone years, often to no avail and through a prolonged period of unremitting misery. Massi refers to what has been commonplace to many debtors with insuperable repayment obligations for a long time, namely "years and years of making minimum payments that will never go away."

Massi encourages people with unworkable debt levels "to stand up" and seriously investigate the debt-relief options offered through bankruptcy.

And "find a reputable lawyer to advise you," he adds.

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