Should bankruptcy be an option?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by In His Grace, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. In His Grace

    In His Grace
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    As Christians should bankruptcy be an option, let's say you had a death in the family that really effected you or a lost of income due to some job lay-off, bad health, or somethings beyond our control.:praying:
     
  2. JamieinNH

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    I would say no. I am not sure if it's Bibical or not, I think it says we are to be responible for our debts somewhere. I'll have to do some studying.


    I say no because it just seems wrong personally. Should you get more time to repay your debts? Work out some agreement without the interest adding up faster than you can repay? Maybe the church could help you out with an interest free loan?

    Or another idea, don't some "bankrupties" more or less reorganize our debt vers wipe it away? If that is the case, then yes, a reorganization of your debt would be acceptable in my opinion.

    I think something should be done, but not just set aside your debts.

    Jamie
     
  3. gb93433

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    If one reads the OT they see that everything was wiped clean after 7 years. But we live in a much different country today than during the OT. Most people file bankruptcy simply because of living beyond their means. However others have had a tragedy strike them such as hospitalization. I have known one man who field bankruptcy on a business and paid back every penny, even what his partner owed. His credit is excellent today. I know another lady who asked creditors to work with her many years ago and today she is worth many millions. People respect her because she went through hard times and asked them to work with her. Today she could probably buy out each of them.

    Bankruptcy is always a last resort.
     
  4. bapmom

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    I think its as a last resort, too. Running up bills irresponsibly and then just nonchalantly filing for bankruptcy to get out of the obligation is far different than being under a large financial burden and not being able to get out of it in the foreseeable future. There are times when things happen which place us in debt due to no irresponsibility on our own part.

    And yes, there's a kind of bankruptcy in which the person basically sets up a payment plan. Either way, the creditors still might get some of their money since they look at your assets to see if anything you have can be sold for their benefit.
     
  5. Bro Tony

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    I believe in some cases bankruptcy is an option for the Christian. In saying that I also believe the Christian should do everything in their power to pay back what they owe. We had a gentleman in our former church who made some bad financial decisions and then something tramatic happened and he had to file bankruptcy to stop the compounding interest, late charges and fees put forth by the collection agencies. He then called all his creditors and commited to them that he was going to pay them back. Many of them said that he did not need to because of the bankruptcy. He said that he owed them the money and was paying them back every penny plus the original interest. It took him 3 years but he got them all payed back. This is a case where I believe my brother in Christ did what was right and proper.

    Bro Tony
     
  6. Hope of Glory

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    As was pointed out, in the OT, debts were wiped out after 7 years.

    But, today, is it OK?

    Did you have an injury and have run up several hundred thousand in debt that you have no way to repay? This is the sort of thing our bankruptcy laws were intended for. I don't think is sin.

    Did you get yourself in over your head and learn a lesson? You may be living beyond your means, and just get in trouble. I think this would be OK, but learn your lesson.

    Do you do this every 7 years so you can get more stuff without having to pay for it? Then, I think this is clearly sin.
     
  7. LeBuick

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    Which sin would it be? Glutny???

    Why does the Church not help those members that are in financial trouble?

    Remember the early Church, they sold all they had and split the money between themselves. What happen to that spirit?
     
  8. menageriekeeper

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    If you continously live beyond your means and run up your debt and then declare bankruptcy because basically you wanted your clothes to come from Macy's and you wanted to drive a Caddilac instead of a Honda, then it's sin (fraud).

    If, like happened to a friend of mine, you husband developed a drug habit and ran up $40,000 dollars on your and your mother's credit cards and then abandoned you and your two children, leaving the debt as your responsibility, then bankruptcy is not a sin. At least not your sin.

    Or in the case of catastrophic medical bills. Although I believe those should be paid as much as possible.
     
  9. Brother Bob

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    I have to offer some pity sake for those who get in so deep. My wife cannot control spending and we been married for 45 years and she is a retired school teacher but she just cannot help herself. I have had to bail her out several times over the years but she still goes back in debt. The reason for the pity is we are swamped with credit card offers. I mean everyday I get 2 or 3 offers for another credit card. Well I can shred them but some people just can't and they don't even realize how deep they are in debt until its too late. It is the greedy credit card companys that prey on those who cannot resist so I do have some pity for them and don't know if I would be too hard on someone who got in over their head. peace :) I hope my post is not an offense to anyone.
     
    #9 Brother Bob, Jul 2, 2006
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  10. Trotter

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    What I have seen happen is someone files bankruptcy (chapter 13). Then their creditor(s) don't bother to show up to claim.

    When our son was born, he lived three days. His hospital bill was astronomical, as was my wife's (almost four months in the hospital, half in OB)... and that was after insurance had paid. The hospital was our main bill, with several other medical bills involved and two small personal loans. The collections department for the hospital started calling the day my wife got out of the hospital, before our son was even ready at the funeral home.

    When we finally decided to file, the hospital kept calling until we sicced our lawyer on 'em. But when we went to court, the hospital didn't even show up to claim against us. Due to that, we came out of chapter 13 in about a year. That was about 15 years ago.
     
  11. El_Guero

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    Since bankruptcy is a law of the land, I would hazard to say that responsible use of bankruptcy would not be a sin. Most of the protection from modern bankruptcy is from the interest owed. (my understanding). I just do not like the fact that interest rates can be so high and almost force someone into an economic hardship.
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    One thing we do have to consider in today's world. It is different than in our father's day when almost everyone knew everyone else. We pay huge taxes and when you do use a credit card and are able to pay, you pay astronomical interests rates and that is to take care of all those who do end up as Trotter with a huge hospital bill. So in one sense, the debt is already paid and the credit card companys are really losing nothing. When you get back on your feet you will again pay those large interest rates. It is not the credit card company or hospitals who charge such large bill that are unbelievable that lose, for by charging those large bills they are collecting every day for when someone cannot pay. It is all of as a family of citizens that pay for those who fall victim to circumstances out of their control. Again, I say I do not hold someone too responible in these cases. Our system is set up that way so ceasar is getting his fair share and more! peace :) Not to say I encourage bankruptcy.
     
    #12 Brother Bob, Jul 2, 2006
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  13. Kris

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    That's a really good point Brother Bob :thumbs: The credit card companies need to take responsibility for blindly mailing away money offers to people and then complaining about people who don't pay it back. Duh...what did they think would happen??
    They don't even KNOW who got the offer in the first place :mad:
    They don't deserve to be paid back! If more people would quit paying them back after using the card, maybe they would quit mailing them out against our wills. That is the only way they will learn.

    Everytime and offer comes to our house we must shred it for fear of identity theft. Someone took our mail once and signed us up for a credit card. Then used it for gas. Also, my brother in law is schizophrenic, and got an offer in the mail. He spent ALOT of $$ and my father in law had to pay for it. Why? because with bad credit, he wouldn't be able to get a house. It's a sad situation...
     
  14. Pipedude

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    Theft.

    There is a sense in which the lender bears some responsibility for the borrower's plight. That's why lending is regulated by civil law, and why biblical law in the OT was so strict against usury. Debt is like booze or gambling in that it is a deadly trap that snaps shut upon the unwary and seeks to imprison him eternally.

    That said, the borrower bears most of the responsibility. If he took the goods, he must pay for them, even if it means a lifetime of servitude. If a lender lent the money irresponsibly (like, say, a loan shark might do), he should suffer some of the loss, too. Otherwise, he deserves his money.

    Catastrophes are a separate topic. Because of various factors I won't meddle with now, we have no choice medically; we will run up astronomical bills and the cost will be spread around to everyone else. That's America, and we can't escape it.

    Bankruptcy sometimes might be necessary to stop the collection process from destroying the debtor's ability to earn repayment. But one's moral responsibility isn't affected by a bankruptcy. Right is right, and a judge cannot speak it into existence or out of existence. If you are morally obligated to repay, that obligation remains even if a judge protects you from the collection process.

    Our grandparents avoided debt for this reason. Today we think we have a right to live high on credit and make everybodye else suck it up if anything goes wrong (and occasionally something does go wrong, you might have noticed). It ain't so.
     
  15. Brother Bob

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    Pipedude;
    I am sure we all agree with someone using it to get things. My concern is someone who was overwhelmed by a happening of which he had no control. Then I think you were agreeing that would be a different issue than just running up credit debt. peace :)
     
  16. lgpruitt

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    I know being a single mom it isn't easy. Credit makes it way too easy when there's not enough $$ to go around. I got in trouble when my son had emergency surgery at Vanderbilt and I had a lot of expenses that were quite unexpected. From his time in Vanderbilt forward, I found no way out. Things went from bad to worse....and I ended up in bankruptcy. I remember my lawyer telling me I could only do this once every 6 years...and I was floored. I asked, "people actually do THIS more than once???!!!" and he indicted yes. I couldn't stomach it more than once. At that point in my life, I was in my deepest depression. I was single...I had 2 kids to feed and care for...and medical bills out the wazoo. Bankruptcy seemed to be the only way out and the way I had to take. It's not been easy to rebuild and go on...but I have. God and a few very close friends got me through this.
    Is it a sin? Perhaps. I never speak about this event in my life. I'm quite ashamed of it.
    God's grace covers my sins thankfully. Very hard subject for me to talk about.
    :praying: :Fish:
     
  17. Hope of Glory

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    Pipedude beat me to the answer: Theft.

    I only think it's theft if it's intentional, and perhaps when it's carelessness.
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    I agree that "intentionally" use credit cards to defraud certainly is theft. peace
     
  19. AVL1984

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    Vivian and I worked, and worked hard. But, in 2001, one year after I went disabled, and while fighting for disability from SS, we were FORCED into bankruptcy. We lost our home, we lost our cars, and we had also lost our jobs about the same time I went disabled. We also had my father pass away with no life insurance, leaving my mother with little or nothing. We paid our bills on time up until March of 2001 when we tried to re-finance the house. The mortgage company wouldn't refinance the loan at a lower rate, though they should have. My medical bills were well over $250,000, and when we filed, we weren't upset to do it. We had tried on a continual basis to try and work with our creditors. We were told to move out of our house, and we did...into a small 2 br apt. We lived there for three years. One week after our home was foreclosed on, I had my hearing for SS disability. 3 weeks later, I got my award letter. It was hard on both of us. We nearly didn't make it...our church condemned us, our friends deserted us, and our families ridiculed us. But, it wasn't really our choice. We filed chapter 7. It was discharged in October of 2001.

    I see nothing wrong with bankruptcy as an option if there are continual health problems, other viable issues, etc. I do disapprove of bankruptcy when people amass huge credit card bills and have no intention of paying them. It's shameful.
     
  20. Bro Tony

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    I agree 100%. Bankruptcy is the law of the land and was intended for just such situations as AVL & Trotter shared. It is theft if one lives beyond their means knowing that every 7 years they can claim bankruptcy.

    Bro Tony
     

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