A recent post on NPR (“Crushed Under Credit Card Debt: A Tale Of Survival“) casts one family’s saga of surviving a personal debt crisis as one in which you get cancer, rack up nearly $50,000 in debt, and yet pull yourself up by your bootstraps and pay it back rather than file for bankruptcy.
“Shrout says they briefly considered filing for bankruptcy, but ultimately decided it wasn’t the right choice. She says they felt they understood where their hardships came from and that they had gotten themselves into this debt, so they could also get out.”
That’s an interesting perspective.
With the Shrouts, the mother hadn’t worked because of maternity leave and the husband hadn’t been able to work because of cancer. And the cancer brought on thousands in medical bills.
It’s difficult to see how they got themselves into the debt, unless you blame them for getting cancer and for their decision to have a second child. Didn’t eat healthy enough? Didn’t exercise? For whatever reason the husband got cancer, is it fair to blame him for getting it? Perhaps not. We would stop short of blaming the husband for getting cancer, just as we agree that maternity leave is a valid reason for not bringing in additional income.