Bankruptcy and the Bible. Yes, debt forgiveness is in there!
May 6, 2012 2 Comments
You may have heard it quoted. It is written in the bible in the Old Testament. I quote it here: Deuteronomy 15:1-2, “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed”. Yes it is in the bible. A “release” from your debts shall be granted every seven years by your creditors.
This verse therefore commands creditors to release people from the debts owed by debtors every seven years. You could argue that the bankruptcy just enforces this biblical passage through the use of law. You could easily argue that bankruptcy is indeed the very debt forgiveness talked about in this biblical passage. (And I doubt the creditors will follow this biblical principle without bankruptcy law but you can try).
You could ask why is debt forgiveness in the bible. Most of us in the debt relief business believe that it is in the bible because people knew in ancient times what we should all know now. Debt is damaging to people, damaging, to society and damaging to the future of mankind. It can’t be carried by people forever and it can’t be allowed to follow them and put them in debtor’s prison forever.
Debt slavery is extremely undesirable and indeed intolerable. Debt must be released and people must be freed from it. Ancient peoples knew that then and most of us who have lived with debt know that now. And some would say that God commanded a seven-year debt forgiveness through this verse in case people forgot. But it is clear that the bible sanctions debt release/forgiveness and it appears that it must be done on a regular seven-year basis. It is hard to argue that this verse could mean anything else but that.
I believe that it is true that this forgiveness is necessary because people who are burdened with debt can’t spend, save, invest in homes or retirement and therefore can’t truly be productive members of society. Sadly many of them check out and some even commit suicide because of debt. Many of my clients have told me that they have considered suicide with all their debt prior to their consideration of bankruptcy. Debt burdens are potentially the ruin of individuals and nations. (see here for my article on my website on why you should file bankruptcy)
Bankruptcy is not the bad thing that many people believe it to be. Many believe that it is irresponsible, somehow sleazy, underhanded, and in effect cheating. Many believe that they must pay back their debts no matter how large they are and no matter how long it takes.
But then what is the purpose of your life? To be a slave to your debt? To spend you entire days on earth paying something to someone else that enriches them and impoverishes you? With interest? They knew better thousands of years ago. I often believe that in modern times we make silly mistakes and have ridiculous beliefs that our ancestors would laugh at.
Bankruptcy is a liberator of people. It frees them from debt and gives them a fresh start.
For all of our modern science and technology we still sometimes forget lessons they learned long ago, One of them is that debt is bad. It must have a limit in years. It must be forgiven periodically. This is good for everyone so let’s get on with it.
The next time someone disparages your thoughts of bankruptcy mention to them that it has been recommended for a very long time by some very trusted sources. Enjoy your freedom and God bless! Check out my blog about bankruptcy and Christianity here.
I am bankruptcy attorney in San Diego. Please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com for more info. about any of these topics. Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015. Call now for free credit report and analysis! For a free e-book: “13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” please send a request by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holy bible photo courtesy of Jemimus. Deuteronomy photo courtesy of Billy Alexander.