As a New Jersey bankruptcy attorney, I understand the decision to file bankruptcy can be one of the most emotional decisions a person has to deal with. Clients will often tell me, “I’ve worked so hard, for so long, and up until now I paid all my bills on time; but now because of the economy I have been laid off or my business has dried up and I am scared I am going to lose everything. I see bankruptcy as a way to salvage some of my possessions, but I am scared about how it will look to my friends, family, and community overall. Will they look down on me and view me as reckless, careless, and untrustworthy”.
This often becomes more emotional when the person is religious, and is concerned about how they will be viewed in the eyes of their maker. This is a difficult question for me to answer as I am not a religious theologian nor do I profess to have all the answers. However, I do point out that bankruptcy has been accounted for in the Old Testament (Torah). Specifically, Deuteronomy 15:1-2 in essence states that every seven years a person’s debts are wiped clean. The rational for this passage (some believe) was that debt can be canceled to save something more sacred (e.g., the preservation of the family unit). Some clients will then tell me that knowing this makes them feel better about having to file bankruptcy. Again, I am not professing to know the answers to the great beyond, nor am I professing to be a religious theologian. What I am conveying is that the Old Testament (Torah) does account for the wiping away debts after seven years, which is analogous to some extent to the modern day filing of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
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