Stressful, but can be overcome

George said he was naive when he was made bankrupt for failing to pay his car loan instalments.
George said he was naive when he was made bankrupt for failing to pay his car loan instalments.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

Bankruptcy can be a stressful time, but it can be overcome, said a former bankrupt who wanted to be known only as George, 63.

He was declared bankrupt in 2005, after he could not afford to pay off his car loan instalments of about $30,000.

"I was naive and didn't know what to do.

"When the creditors said they wanted to sue me, I just went to court and declared bankruptcy when I couldn't pay them."

He had been dipping into his savings when his shipping business was faring poorly. The last straw came when several of his clients cheated him out of almost $60,000, he said.

"The money that was supposed to come in didn't, and one party said they had already paid someone else, whom I couldn't track down."

The bankruptcy put some strain on his relationship with his wife and three children, but George said he was grateful that they stuck by him.

He was discharged in 2007 under the Official Assignee's discretion as his debts did not exceed $500,000.

He returned to the shipping industry after he was cleared to open a business again, but was eventually forced to shut it down for good in 2011 because it failed to take off.

He said: "I learnt my lesson. If you can't run a business and don't know your clients, don't do it."

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 26, 2015, with the headline 'Stressful, but can be overcome'. Print Edition | Subscribe