On a recent podcast, top bankruptcy attorney Tony Thompson, founder of Thompson Law in Angeles, CA, revealed the steps to take to save a relationship from the shadow of debt. —
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When asked to comment, he told listeners, “What most couples fight over is money. Money trumps everything. My experience as a bankruptcy attorney is that money problems are really, really damaging to a marriage.”
Thompson further pointed to behavioral changes as a result of debt as the main problem in relationship difficulties.
"The thing about money and debt is that it causes changes in behavior and people to change. It causes people to start lying, and it leads to cheating and deceit, which is what is really so vicious and damaging about debt. This is simply because people cannot function and focus on relationships, family, and marriage if their basic needs in life aren't met. In order to help the marriage, we have to first tackle the money problem," he said.
Thompson helps his clients see a path out of debt through bankruptcy by changing their mindset.
"When I have clients in my office, many times I'll ask them to close their eyes and visualize what their marriage and life would look like if they didn't have a penny of debt. And everyone opens their eyes with a smile on their face because it's such a relief to have that debt off their shoulders," he said.
Following this visualization exercise, Thompson works with his clients to create two budgets.
When asked to elaborate, he said, “We draft one budget where they continue to pay the interest and their debt, and we do another budget where they don’t pay any of this debt as it’s been wiped away. And we project that out for 12 months, and many people are overjoyed when they see how much cash they can accumulate. And it’s at this point where they can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Furthermore, during this process, Thompson shows his clients which debts they can cancel, something that many people might not be aware of.
When asked what advice he would give someone in debt, he said, “Paying interest on debt that you will never be able to pay off is very stressful and leads to destructive behavior. Solving that problem always improves marriages, and bankruptcy is a great tool to do that.”
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