Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C.
A Fresh Start

Chapter 13 bankruptcy isn't funny, it's liberating

To those who are struggling with overwhelming debt, personal bankruptcy seems like anything but a laughing matter. But apparently some people think otherwise.

Recently, the news websites Boston.com and Breitbart.com ran stories erroneously reporting that Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. The right-leaning Breitbart took obvious glee in this false story about Krugman, a New York Times columnist and prominent liberal pundit, suggesting that personal bankruptcy in his personal life would completely discredit the economic theories he espouses in his writings. Within a few hours, the website realized its mistake and deleted the post.

The source for both stories turned out to be the Daily Currant, a satirical website. Breitbart had recently taken other news outlets to task when they mistakenly relied upon Daily Currant satires as if they were real news stories.

So, running the Krugman story was one dumb mistake. Another dumb mistake was in treating Chapter 13 like a joke.

Millions of Americans have been struggling in recent years with underwater mortgages, medical bills, credit card debt and other financial challenges. In the weakened economy, these challenges can combine to make a trap that sometimes feels impossible to escape. Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy is a powerful tool these Americans can sometimes use to get out of this trap.

Chapter 13 helps qualifying Americans work out a repayment plan, in which they can get out of debt in a period of three to five years through a series of manageable payments. While some people feel there is a stigma attached to personal bankruptcy, people who have gone through the process often feel that the experience was a positive one. It can be a big step toward a healthier financial future.

Source: TheAtlanticWire.com, "Breitbart Duped by Krugman Bankruptcy - as Reported by Joke Website It Loves," Philip Bump, March 11, 2013

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