Benefits of Bankruptcy Can Outweigh Negatives

Enjoy Life Again!

Written by Upstate bankruptcy lawyer Däna Wilkinson: I recently met with a client from Greenville to prepare for the first hearing in her bankruptcy case.  She was nervous and anxious, and I’m sure she was wishing that the whole thing was over.  It crossed my mind, though, that if this was the worst thing she ever has to deal with, she would  be very lucky.  So when I ran across a blog written by friend and colleague Doug Jacobs about the benefits of bankruptcy, it resonated with me.

I recommend reading the entire post, which starts by outlining three obvious benefits of bankruptcy:  Your bills go away, creditors stop hounding you, and you get a fresh start. But Doug also points out some less-obvious benefits of bankruptcy:

My top three unintended benefits:

1.    You get your dignity back.  Too often being broke affects your entire outlook on life.  You walk around worrying about the mortgage or the car payment. That is pretty tough on your self-esteem and can get pretty depressing. Once you file bankruptcy, however, those feelings immediately stop.

2.    Your credit score will return.  The biggest effect on your credit score is late payments..  A bankruptcy won’t help your score immediately, but since the bills that weren’t getting paid will be gone, you can rebuild your credit much more quickly.

3.    Your life comes back.   Money problems are often damaging to your home life and relationships.  When you and your spouse do nothing but worry about where the rent is coming from, you can get easily irritated and start fighting.  No more worrying about money – no more bickering.

So if you are wondering whether it’s worth the time, expense, and trouble to file bankruptcy, what is it worth to get your life back?


Däna Wilkinson (pronounced "Donna") is a bankruptcy lawyer practicing in Spartanburg, South Carolina and serving South Carolina's upstate region, including Greenville, Spartanburg, Gaffney, Union, Anderson, Easley and Pickens. She has been in practice for more years than she cares to count, but it’s more than 20 years. Däna has been a bankruptcy lawyer from the very beginning of her career as a lawyer.

Däna went to law school at the University of South Carolina, where she was Student Works Editor on the South Carolina Law Review and a member of the Order of Coif. She started doing bankruptcy work while still a student, working for a bankruptcy boutique firm whose members included a Chapter 7 panel trustee, and recognized experts in Chapter 11 reorganizations. She enjoyed the work from the beginning, and upon graduation took a job as a law clerk to the Honorable Rodney Bernard, bankruptcy judge for the Western District of Louisiana. Judge Bernard had spent a number of years on the bankruptcy bench, and was an excellent teacher and mentor. Upon Judge Bernard’s retirement, Däna stayed on for a time as clerk to the Honorable Donald W. Boe, until homesickness for South Carolina struck, and she returned to private practice in Charleston. Four years later, she received an offer to return to Columbia, where she practiced until 1997.

In 1997, planning to start a family, Däna decided to return home to the Upstate, and opened her own practice in Spartanburg in 1998. Over the years, Däna represented all sorts of parties in bankruptcy: business debtors in reorganization, individual debtors, creditors and creditors’ committees, and trustees. In establishing her own practice Däna decided to focus on consumer debtors, ordinary people who find themselves overwhelmed by debt. Her focus is on the individual needs of clients, and on crafting a solution to their unique financial needs. She is committed to helping clients make a fresh start, and preserving their dignity in the process.

Däna is the proud mother of a beautiful, talented and very active daughter, who is, as her mother says, “practically perfect.” She is also active in both church and community activities, all of which means that there is a fair chance that any given blog post was written while in the car pool line or while waiting for a hearing or a meeting to start.

Däna is also certified as a bankruptcy specialist by the South Carolina Supreme Court, which means that she has taken and passed a proficiency examination on bankruptcy law, devoted her practice to bankruptcy for a number of years, and continues to take classes on bankruptcy law and related issues.

Contact information for Däna Wilkinson:

Law Office of Däna Wilkinson
365-C East Blackstock Road
Spartanburg, SC 29301
(864) 574-7944
[email protected]

Däna also blogs at

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