Discharged Bankrupt IT Contractor
This is the story of a discharged bankrupt IT Contractor and the advice he has for others.
We have been sent quite a few sad stories from people who have had hard times recently in response to our article ‘Being Unemployed during the Downturn’.
In response to one of these, we got a series of emails from someone who was in sad straits during the last downturn of the early eighties. We hope it is an encouraging message of hope for those who are in a similar state.
Debts Piled Up
It was a long time ago, and I prefer to forget it, but I will give my story from memory in order to help other contractors who may be in the same situation since the last downturn.
I am a man who was in a marriage with 3 kids.
I had no contract (I was working constantly as a contractor until then) and the debts piled up. We split up and I took on the debt. It was my choice, the noble thing to do. Part of the problem, though, was the crap marriage in the first place.
I was around £50,000 in debt and I had an £80,000 100% mortgage on my house which I signed over to my wife.
I owed money to the taxman, to the banks, to the mortgage company and to a car leasing company.
I made myself voluntarily bankrupt. I blank out some of the details from my memory, but I recall it was slightly degrading having my affairs poked into in detail!!
However, I didn‘t get in touch with an accountant about it. I did it all by myself. I didn‘t consider an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. Maybe, I didn‘t shut my company down either, but I think the Receiver did it.
After 3 years, I got an automatic discharge. Whilst bankrupt I could not have a bank account or be a director and my life was low. Eventually I got sorted out and got a job and a bank account etc and now it is as if it never happened.
It was grim being ‘on the social‘, living only a cash existence and in rented accommodation. I did moonlighting taxi driving and stuff, but I had a massive financial commitment that I couldn’t support and bankruptcy was only way out.
I learned my lesson!
No Stigma to Bankruptcy
I never felt any stigma. My attitude was that capitalism has its ups and downs and that bankruptcy was just part of the downs.
I basically wrote off three years of my life and had to start again but managed to do so.
I never mention my bankruptcy to anyone and it has never affected me since
I‘m working and I‘m doing very well financially now.
In fact I have to say that I had possibly suffered some mental burn out prior to the money troubles. My years away from IT were of debauchery, booze, drugs, and women. It was off the rails stuff – a complete departure from respectability LOL.
Now I am in a new marriage with a kid. I‘m a steady permie after I did 8 years contracting again.
I always managed to disguise the gaps in my CV with help of mates, i.e. references from the one man companies.
I hope this tale of a Discharged Bankrupt IT Contractor helps.