Is Bankruptcy a Crime? What Does the Bible Say?

Over the last 20 years the topic of bankruptcy has carried a negative stigma that has made many people believe that someone who would file is dishonest or unscrupulous. With this stigma rarely did anyone look at the true causes of bankruptcy filing and why most people get forced into it. Most people feel a rush of emotions that include embarrassment, shame and guilt when having to file bankruptcy to eliminate their debt. Because of these emotions people start questioning their own morality and almost think it's criminal to use bankruptcy. The last time I checked, debtors prisons have been gone since the mid-19th century. Although the creditors would like you to believe so, bankruptcy is not a crime.

For those that are questioning the morality of filing for bankruptcy all they need to do is look no further than the Bible. It is true, that the Bible makes it clear that an individual is expected to pay their debts. But there are some considerations and the Bible balances the moral and legal obligation to pay your just debts. Also in that requirement is that debts must be canceled at periodic intervals. The basis for this is when looking at the sabbatical and Jubilee years. Deuteronomy 15: 1-2 makes it clear, At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And in this manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he is lent to his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord's release has been proclaimed. In fact, this is the basis that Congress enacted the bankruptcy code to cancel and restructure debt obligations in the United States. Originally, that's where the, every seven years a person could file Chapter 7 bankruptcy came from. That is of course until the changes to the bankruptcy code in 2005 where it was changed to every eight years.

The Bible speaks strongly about the legal right to cancel debt and even stronger about prohibiting usury or excessive interest. In modern day times we are seeing credit card companies charging interest rates of close to 30% and payday lenders have been known to charge 1000% interest. I believe that this is what it is referring to as this behavior is what is sending many Americans into bankruptcy. A recent study came out that showed the average American is only three paychecks away from filing bankruptcy. This can be attributed to someone that is overburdened with credit. Another study showed the income to consumer debt ratio of the average American is now 154% showing truth to the previous study.

The new bankruptcy code signed into law in 2005 lacks compassion for the poor and does nothing to go after the modern-day money changers who charge exorbitant interest rates sending the struggling middle class into a financial abyss never to return. The new law makes it harder for someone to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and sets them up for financial failure in Chapter 13. Many families end up broken from debt trouble and financial despair. Filing bankruptcy should not be abused, but it should be easy for those that need to use the process. The family unit should be kept on a pedestal and protected at all costs and this is why it should be made easier for a family to file. It seems that our politicians are more interested in helping their friends on Wall Street than helping their constituents at home.

For someone having financial trouble, they should not feel bad about filing bankruptcy. When big corporations want to clear their books or made some bad investments they file bankruptcy or get bailed out by the government. To them it's good business and we should see it the same way. Look at it as the government bailout you never got.

The author started DebtFreeBankruptcyAttorney.Com which is a website that helps individuals with debt problems by putting them in touch with a local bankruptcy attorney that specializes in bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Check our website for more answers to bankruptcy questions and ideas on how to have a debt free future.

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