Does the enormous increase of personal bankruptcy today suggest that Americans have lost their sense of shame as many government officials believe

There has been a significant increase in the rate of filing personal bankruptcy in America today than any other time in the past. To many observers, this has been as a result of losing of sense of shame in due to failure in simple management of finances. Previously, filing for bankruptcy in American society had been perceived as an indication of financial failure due to making of poor decisions in a person or institution. It is arguably true that the spending patterns of most of American populations are very questionable as most people do not care (American Legal Papers, n.d).  However, present day statistics in the rate of filing of bankruptcy tends to show a shift from this notion.

In one view, Americans have come to accept that, there can be more than one reason that can lead one becoming bankrupt other than lack of financial management skills. The advent of financial crisis has made many people lose their jobs which were their sources of income. As a result, most of these people have become financially incapacitated as debts continue to pile before they can find another stable job to cater for their financial needs. The lack of financial wellbeing has been coupled with the rise in the cost of health care among all economic groups which has led to many people becoming bankrupt.

What we are seeing today in the American population is a tendency of positive deviance. Under positive deviance, people discover and adopt some abnormal behaviors which assist them in developing a mode of action to advance their social status in life. This has manifested itself as a form of asset-based way of solving problems facing the individuals. In this approach, individuals have discovered the act of self declaration of their bankruptcy either real or under pretense as a perfect way of escaping their financial problems at hand (Murray, 2009). However, this has been supported by changes in the bankruptcy laws which have reduced the fear of loss of personal property and assets and property once they declare themselves as bankrupt.

With or without sense of shame, this approach has helped Americans to develop better solutions to their financial problems as compared to their counterparts who face their financial problems head on. The recent changes in bankruptcy laws has helped many Americans to embrace filing of  bankruptcy as the best way of helping them to regain credit worthiness as they look for better ways of  accessing stability in their finances. Previously, the fear of filing of bankruptcy was associated with the ability of creditors taking possession of liquidated assets as compensation to the debt owed to them by the bankrupt person or institution (American Bankruptcy Courts, n.d).

The requirement of this new law for the debtors to undergo through a counseling session in debt management budgeting course before approval of bankruptcy has not gone well in the minds of many Americans. They see their condition as a result of crisis in the economy and health care demands. However, this proves that Americans have developed a way of escapism which deviance is used in reference to the shift in behavior from the social norm to an unacceptable behavior (Bankruptcy America, 2010). It may thus be concluded that it more accrue to the changing patterns of the economic outlay that drives the society to greater frontiers to bankruptcy than it may be facilitated by the loss in the sense of shame for the Americans. Americans should thus not be blamed but the wider economic functionality of the societal variables.


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