Christians, The Bible and Bankruptcy
SHOULD A CHRISTIAN FILE A PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY??
We know that bad things happen to hard working people. We know that people suffer with every phone call and letter knowing that they want to pay their bills and have a good relationship with their creditors but that they are drowning in debt.
We have seen good people destroy their health, their families peace, their savings and retirements and their business relationships because they had excessive medical bills not covered by health insurance, or they had to financially help a stranded loved one and then got caught with rising interest rates, falling home values or creditors who would not work with them.
We know that business owners sacrifice everything to take care of their employees and business creditors only to find their dreams dashed and personal finances depleted when business overhead does not meet revenues. We understand because we have been there ourselves.
We searched the Bible and found that The Bible teaches that treatment of people in debt should be extended grace when it is called for and not judged under a legalistic system for the rest of their life. Therefore, Bankruptcy can provide an end to feelings of shame, guilt and hopelessness and a time to clean up the mess, rebuild your life and learn to make wiser financial decisions in the future.
It is clearly wrong to file bankruptcy if your only goal is to not pay your creditors. Ps. 37:21. We should strive to have a good reputation in the community as honest people. Prov. 22:1a; I Timothy 3:7.
However, under certain circumstances, bankruptcy is a legitimate option. First, there are foundational scriptural roots for our modern-day bankruptcy law. U.S. Bankruptcy law came to us by way of British Jurisprudence. The British legal system bases its bankruptcy law on a principle found in Leviticus, Chapter 25. The seven-year law of release and the year of jubilee are both Biblical provisions for the release of debts and obligations every seven years.
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A Chapter 7 Personal Bankruptcy (which incidentally is only allowed once every eight years) can be a biblical based merciful release for those who, through unforeseeable or uncontrollable circumstances, have no possible way to ever pay back what they owe.
The kind of circumstances I am referring to are varied, such as a spouse who is deserted by another and left with children to feed and overwhelming debts. The Bible is clear that widows and orphans are to be shown mercy. Another example is in the case of a severe medical trauma that leaves an individual disabled and unable to pay medical bills.
This person did not intentionally get into a position of not paying his bills, and releasing him from his debts would be a merciful response. There are also many victims of natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes who may need relief under Bankruptcy Act.
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Finally, instead of trying to work with people in such trouble with debt, Lenders often make it tougher for debtors by charging high interest rates (usury), late payment fees, over-limit charges, interest-upon-interest, etc. so that a very real from of financial bondage is created. This is contrary to God’s word. Luke 6:31; Galatians 6:7. Bankruptcy can be a merciful release from usurious Lenders.
Robinson Law PC offers a half hour free initial consultation and reasonable fees for legal services. Come talk to us about getting free from your unmerciful creditors and financial bondage.
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