Is bankrutpcy an option for the Christian?

Discussion in 'Money Talk$' started by Pastor_Bob, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    I heard a preacher say a few weeks back that bankruptcy was a viable option for the Christian. He used R.G. Letourneau as an example. He said that Letourneau filed for bankruptcy twice before he made his fortune. He ultimately gave millions to the cause of Christ.

    Does the end justify the means?
     
  2. James_Newman

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    No. What is the fundamental difference between bankruptcy and theft?
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    The ends never justify the means.

    The good work of his giving millions to the cause of Christ cannot support itself on the sandy foundation of bankruptcy.

    However, I am not 100% opposed to bankruptcy. Just about 99%! :laugh: I wouldn't equate it literally with theft. I have seen it justified once and abused many times.

    Perhaps there could be stricter laws and higher hurdles to jump to be able to declare it.
     
  4. TomVols

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    Ch. 7? I have a hard time justifying that. However, Ch 13 is a way to repay your debts (at least a portion) and allows you to get your head back above water without totally thumbing your nose at everyone. It's better than the consumer credit counseling scams going on (some of which are done by "Christians").
     
  5. James_Newman

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  6. ccrobinson

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    Can't remember who said it, but this isn't original to me and I think applies here.

    "It's never right to do wrong in order to have a chance to do right."

    Credit is a useful tool, if handled properly. The absolute most important thing in regards to a credit card is to pay that bill off every single month. Not paying it off every month is tantamount to giving your money away.

    I completely agree. However, that doesn't apply to every case. A lengthy hospital stay of any kind can cripple any one of us financially. I currently don't have anything resembling decent healthcare through my employer and have had to buy it myself. There's nothing that angers me more than the state of healthcare in this country. Regardless, that sounds like it could be a thread of its own.

    But, before we start thinking we can cop out because of the cost of healthcare, I've got an example of someone who took 18 years to pay a medical bill off.

    About 10 years ago, I worked with a single mom who had 2 teenagers. She told me that, when her oldest was born, she had no medical insurance at all and the entire bill fell to her. At the time I worked with her, her oldest had just graduated high school, and she had just paid the bill. As far as I know, she wasn't saved.

    If a non-Christian has the character to pay what she owed, though it took 18 years to do it, then I don't see why Christians think they have any business going into bankruptcy.
     
  7. mcdirector

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    When I was a girl, a man in our church had to file for bankrupcy (that's how it was put to me - had to file). BUT he did pay back his creditors when he got back on his feet.

    Would that make a difference?
     
  8. TomVols

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    Yes, in my mind. Sounds like he did ch 13.
     
  9. ccrobinson

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    I think it does, Bitsy.

    Tomvols mentioned chapter 13 vs. chapter 7, and I have no issue with somebody using chapter 13. I just hope I didn't come across too strong in my post.

    A few years ago, friends of ours had a baby, and the mother got an infection that nearly killed her and she wound up staying in the hospital for over a year. I can't even imagine how much they owe. Her husband is dead set against bankruptcy, which earns him my respect. But, if he decided to declare it, I would completely understand and wouldn't hold it against him. Those who have bills like that through no fault of their own have my utmost compassion. There but for the grace of God...
     
  10. Scarlett O.

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    I think it's a very viable option.....but, as I always tell my junior high/high school math students when we study percentages.....credit cards aren't for people who don't have money.....they are for people who do have the money to pay cash for everything, but choose to use the cards for the sake of convience.

    That always makes them very, very mad. I get the "that's not fair" chorus.

    And I have actually had 8th graders who thought that credits cards were money. In their minds, as long as you had the card, you had cash.

     
  11. Jim1999

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    The whole purpose of bankruptcy, at least in Canada, was to take the pressure off an individual or business, and not to totally excuse a debt.

    Over time, the Bankruptcy Act has made it impossible for a person to repay any debt other than through the bankrupcy court, who decides who gets what.

    I grew up in an age when if you couldn't pay cash, you couldn't afford it. If one has a credit card, it should be paid off each month before interest is accrued. It is then a convenience card, and I sure appreciate that cos I don't carry much cash with me.

    I read somewhere that 75% of personal bankruptices in the USA are health care related. Then, I also read that the average American has 7 credit cards maxed out......I have seen evidence of this in Canada whilst waiting in line at a cash out counter.

    Not a few millionaires have been through several bankruptcies before they hit the win streak.

    The sad part to me is when I read about Christian organizations either declaring bankruptcy or abject poverty.

    It is a tool to be used when required, and some are thankful for that tool, and don't take it lightly....Try counselling someone who has experienced it!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. Analgesic

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    Jim's made an important point. Declaring bankruptcy does not mean you're not going to repay your debts.

    Secondly, I think there's a real difference between a professional lender and a private one. The second type must absolutely be paid off in full. The professional, however, has already calculated that bankruptcy might be declared and adjusted his rates accordingly, so essentially one is already paying for the opportunity to do so.

    (Note that I've never declared bankruptcy, am not in debt, and do not plan to be so.)
     
  13. webdog

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    Ask this to the person who suffers from cancer, and is racking up medical bill after bill.
     
  14. webdog

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    They both have their place. You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    What does the recently divorced woman do where her cheating husband abused her credit?

    I would also add that it's a lot tougher filing bankruptcy after recent law changes.
     
  15. Brian30755

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    I can't speak for everyone, but several years ago, I was in a real mess with credit cards, so I enrolled in one of those consumer credit counseling programs (Yep, it had "Christian" in its name), and it's worked wonderfully for me. In fact, those credit cards will be totally paid off just after the first of the year.

    They simply made arrangements with the credit card companies to accept a lower interest rate. Then, they gave me one monthly payment that I could live with, and it's been nice to see my balances going down month after month. If I were still paying the minimum payment to each of those cards each month, I'd guess my balance would still be pretty close to what it was several years ago.

    I really don't feel like I cheated any of the credit card companies by taking this route. I had paid them all a lot of interest over the years, and by using Christian Credit Counselors they still received everything I owed them, just less interest.

    This may not have been the wisest route to take, but I've learned a lot since then. Yes, it hurt my credit score at first, but right now it's higher than it's ever been.

    I guess all I'm saying is that these credit counseling companies do work for some people in certain situations.
     
  16. KenH

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    Then very few Christians would ever be able to purchase a house.
     
  17. TomVols

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    Brian, make sure each of your creditors actually got their money. Some of the credit counseling services are actually just arms of the various credit card companies. they pay the folks they are contractually tied to but pay little to nothing to others. I've seen dozens of folks think they're out of debt, only to find out that they have paid an awful lot of money to just one or two creditors.

    Remember, too, that these credit counseling services do things that you can do on your own. I have negotiated low to no interest for folks on their credit cards as a way to get them out of debt and never charged them a nickel. The consumer has done it many times in my experience, too.

    I do hope it did work for you and rejoice that it did. I just want people to beware of the pitfalls.
     
  18. Brian30755

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    I still get my statements each month from the credit card companies, so I can see that the payments are being made, and that my balances are coming down.

    You're right about being able to do it on your own. If I had it to do over again, that's probably what I would have done. I didn't realize you could do that at the time, and this seemed like the best solution, since I didn't want to file bankruptcy.
     
  19. TC

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    Bankruptcy is a fresh start for people written into the laws of the United States, so when wisely used, it is a viable option. I used to be totally against it until I saw some people get totally wiped out by illnesses or injuries. I have since changed my mind. Most people rail against personal bankruptcy (which usually involve thousands of dollars), yet say nothing of corperate bankruptcy ( which can involve millions or billions of dollars). Those companies that paid congress to tighten the laws on personal bankruptcy certainly protected their own right to coperate bankruptcy.
     
  20. Orion41

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    Wouldn't bankruptcy of debts to a business be different than not paying debts to an individual? I realize that seems like maybe a fine line, but it's a cost of doing business that sometimes your accounts receivable aren't paid, and a wise businessman knows and plans for that. If I owe a friend $20 and I don't pay him, that would seem to be different and would seem to be theft. I used to think differently though.

    Just for full disclosure, my wife and I were forced into bankruptcy recently due to medical bills created by her fight with cancer and the corresponding therapy, etc afterwards. She 100% disabled, can't work, and her disability income isn't much. I'm unable to get a second job since I need to care for her. I am NOT looking for sympathy though. She's still a blessing to me, so you can leave that out of it.
     

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