In the 25 plus years that I have been counseling and advising people with debt, almost nobody has come into my office saying that they wanted to file bankruptcy, or that he or she was excited to file for bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy is an extreme solution. But, the United States has Bankruptcy Laws for a reason: to give people and small business owners a safety net.
Debtors’ Prisons are Gone!
Imagine what life would be like without the ability to erase or renegotiate debt. Back in England starting in the 14th Century and until the 1850’s, there were “Debtors’ Prisons” to jail people who didn’t pay their debt. Even in the US, Debtors’ prisons were only abolished in 1833. But it really doesn’t make sense! How can people pay back their debts if they are in jail?
Now, if you owe for a debt, companies can legally take money from your paycheck, or “garnish” your wages every payday.
Bankruptcy is Biblical!
The concept of absolution from debt started in the Bible, allowing people not to pay their debts every 7 years. US Bankruptcy Law allows a fresh start for people who are overloaded with debt. And, it can actually help the economy to allow people to recover faster and get on with their lives. Plus, Bankruptcy relief helps people without the government having to pay any additional aid or benefits.
Bankruptcy – Your Personal Safety Net!
That’s the philosophical justification.
For practical purposes, think of Bankruptcy as everyone’s personal “Safety Net”. If you have extremely high medical bills that insurance didn’t cover, and you can’t pay, you won’t be forever owing that debt. Or, if you don’t have insurance, you still have one last way out, Bankruptcy.
Having a capitalist society where people can borrow to start businesses, Bankruptcy allows people to take risks. Without the entrepreneurs who take risks, we wound not have nearly as many innovative businesses. And, without Bankruptcy, people wouldn’t feel free to take risks!
Families too, can just run into times when they can’t keep up with their bills, due to sickness, or job loss. Bankruptcy allows people to start over with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or reorganize their financial life with a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
We are Here to Catch You!
We are all just walking on tightropes, so just remember that the Bankruptcy Safety Net is there just in case we fall! For more information, or questions about your situation, call us for a free consultation.
Daniel J. Winter
Offices in Chicago, Gurnee, Oak Lawn, and Skokie, Illinois