If there’s one thing addicts go through more quickly than drugs and alcohol, it’s money. Financial problems are almost inevitable when a person develops a drug or alcohol addiction. If you are in recovery, you need to learn how to manage your money as well of your sobriety. That is why at Steps to Recovery Homes we have outside experts teach clients how to manage their finances responsibly.
Getting sober with bad credit
Financial obligations can be overwhelming and work against an addict’s commitment to sobriety. The more they owe, the more difficult returning to a normal life becomes. “Most of the time, an addict has a low credit rating,” says Bloom. “In a tight economy, addicts have a hard time renting an apartment, buying a car or house.”
Bankruptcy can relieve some of the pressure. Before an addict considers it, though, Philadelphia business and bankruptcy attorney Michael J. Duffy says it’s vital to first address the addiction in coordination with substance abuse programs, recovery programs and medical professionals. If and when the person is stable enough, says Duffy, “we may then recommend moving forward with a bankruptcy or other debt relief as might be appropriate. The client is then able to begin to rebuild their life, their credit and look towards a brighter future.”
Not all debts are dischargeable, however. “The child support and alimony that results from an addiction ruining one’s marriage would remain,” says Duffy. “Also, debt as a result of fraud is not dischargeable, so if a creditor (including family members) claim that it was misrepresented to them that the money was to buy a new car to get a job and repay the loan, while in fact it was for illegal narcotics, they might be able to make this claim in the bankruptcy proceedings and prevent the debt from being discharged.” Still, getting a legal reprieve from some debt can make it possible to meet remaining obligations.
Even when walking away from a financial mess is an option, it’s not appropriate for everyone moving towards sobriety. If they want to improve their credit report, repaying debt is usually the best way.
More, making amends is an important part of recovery. It fact, it’s step nine of the 12-step program.