Filing for bankruptcy is never easy. Even after all other avenues have been thoroughly pursued and bankruptcy is clearly the best remaining option, it is still hard to accept. Many people in Ohio fear that they will never regain financial success after bankruptcy and that the event will sit as some sort of black mark on their financial history. In reality, however, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a chance at a new beginning and a pathway to future success.

Take the example set by financial expert Patrice Washington. The author of several books on personal finance, Washington encountered her own financial turmoil at two different points in her life. Just after college she found herself nearly $18,000 in debt. In order to repay those obligations, she had to buckle down and cut her expenses at every opportunity. She was able to repay her creditors in that case, but years later, she faced a different challenge.

While pregnant with her daughter, Washington faced complications and had to stay in the hospital for 10 weeks. She and her husband welcomed a healthy baby girl into their family, but they also took on more than $400,000 in medical debt. Their business was also in trouble, and the bills began to quickly mount. When the couple decided that repayment simply was not possible, they began to consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

That path turned out to be right for them, and they were able to shed a sizable portion of their debt through the Chapter 7 discharge process. Washington was able to rebound in her finance career and is now earning approximately $300,000 a year. Her husband has found a position as the head of a media company. They invest their money in various ventures and are back on track toward long-term success. Their example should prompt many in Ohio to reconsider their perception of Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a financial dead end and see it instead as a new beginning.

Source: marketwatch.com, “How Patrice Washington rebuilt her life after $2 million of debt“, Haley Goldberg, Jan. 2, 2016