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The Streetwise Guide to Going Broke without Losing your Shirt

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67 pages40 minutes

Summary

Hmmmmmmm. Tricky one this. We are going to tell you all of the tricks, tips, cons and cheats to avoid bankruptcy. ‘Irresponsible?’ we hear someone say. Probably a rather pompous fellow in the corner of the room who has never taken a financial risk in their life. But he does have a point.

We do not want people running around the world, chalking up debts and then running off leaving little old ladies without their life savings. People who do that are complete arseholes and deserve everything that society can throw at them – starting with rotten tomatoes in the stocks and finishing with some time at ‘her majesty’s pleasure’.

But for every genuine arsehole there are thousands of well meaning souls who get into financial difficulty without meaning to. It can be bad luck, bad advice, bad judgment or a combination of all three. In virtually all cases their biggest creditor will be a bank and it is banks that trigger most bankruptcies in the world.

Now banks losing money are somewhat different to little old ladies. Banks are in the business of taking risks. To them, bad debts are just a part of business. No one is going to lose their life savings. No one is even likely to lose their jobs. Banks budget for bad debts every year and every year they write off billions of dollars of debts world wide.

Some of those debts are owed by little old ladies, who they have little concern over bankrupting. Some of those debts are owed by struggling businesses, the closure of which will cause hundreds or thousands of people to lose their jobs. They do not care. Some of those debts are owed by struggling third world countries which they cannot do anything about, which really annoys them.

For banks generally can do many, many things to recover their money. They have whole departments whose job it is just to squeeze you for every dollar. They have very expensive lawyers. They have unbelievable power over your finances. Their documentation gives them the ability to demand the return of their money almost on their whim. They can kick you out of your house, steal your car from your driveway at midnight, move into your business and use the police to escort you from your own premises.

They are ruthless in using every weapon in their formidable armory to milk you dry – and then bankrupt you anyway. So this book is aimed at leveling the playing field a little bit.

You will learn how to bamboozle their bureaucracy, subvert their powers, protect your assets, counter attack and negotiate to get the best deal you can.

A word of caution. This ebook will show you how to manipulate your figures and manipulate the banking system to protect you from their power. Done correctly, the bank will not even know that they have been manipulated. They may even buy you lunch afterwards – though don’t count on it! To do so you may end up deluding your banker. It is fundamentally important that you do not delude yourself. By all means encourage your banker to live in cloud cuckoo land but keep your own feet firmly on the ground.

Insolvency can be an intensely stressful pastime so we have written this book with a degree of levity, but bankruptcy is a very serious undertaking. As such, it must be undertaken with caution and care. While this book will encourage you to 'do it yourself' as much as possible, neither we nor the publishers accept any responsibility if you stuff it up, so if you are in any doubt you should consult your accountant or lawyer.

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