Coronation Street gives wrong impression of Bankruptcy

In a recent story line Coronation Street depicts a character who recently became bankrupt as being deceitful and using bankruptcy as a way to write off debts he could have afforded to pay. The recent storyline has Owen Armstrong, a builder who lives on Coronation Street, struggling to get money he is owed from a customer.

The customer owed £4,000 for building work on a venue meant for an estate agent, but now being used by the customer’s wife as a nail salon. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that the customer, Phelan, has been declared bankrupt and could not officially pay. As we learn more about Phelan, he has transferred all of his assets including businesses, his expensive home, cars and motorbike, all in his wife’s name and therefore was able to keep all of his luxuries without paying back creditors. The story continues that Owen holds his £20,000 motorbike to ransom and after some initial arguing and threats Phelan hands Owen a bag full of cash to settle the £4,000 debt.

This is a common stereotype of people who go bankrupt and is far from the truth of many, most people who declare bankruptcy do so as it is the last option and they certainly don’t have big wads of cash at hand. The harsh reality is that the time you are bankrupt you may lose assets, you will set up payment plans to pay as much of your debts as you can and it is often a period of time where money will be tight.

Coronation Street is a popular soap opera, it is important to remember that the characters are fictitious and the situations are created to be the most entertaining even if it isn’t common. It is important to remember that most people who are declared bankrupt have just fallen on hard times and are trying to start afresh.