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Lying about debt

July 27, 2018

Did you know that 20% of couples lie to each other about how much debt they have? Although that is the reported number the actual number of people lying about debt may be higher. Many friends and family members lie about the debts they have, it may be easier than not be able to attend events and take vacations and so on.

Since starting my insolvency career I have seen this played out many times. In the early days, of working for a Credit Counselling agency, I would refer people over to a bankruptcy trustee and be surprised at how many additional creditors were revealed through the bankruptcy process. In short, they would not disclose all their information to me.

We still experience people lying about debt, they lie to their spouse, their friends and families as well as co-workers and in some cases even their employers. It strikes me that there is a pride issue at play, it is embarrassing admitting that the cost of living a modern lifestyle is out of reach. And people have trouble admitting to what they perceive as their own failure.

When I studied psychology in University we learned that people have an innate tendency to blame exogenous factors for their failures while believing that successes are the result of their own efforts. This certainly seems to be the case when they are lying about debt.