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Ethical and Religious Concerns

Aren’t There Ethical, Religious or Other Reasons Why I Shouldn’t File for Bankruptcy?

Many of our clients are reluctant to seriously consider bankruptcy because they have moral or even religious concerns. We at have deep respect for the rights of individuals to believe and feel as they see fit about personal matters. We also respect the sense of duty that makes borrowers want to fulfill the obligations that they have made. However, we would like to share some interesting perspectives and facts that we have learned over the years, while also raising some important questions. You ultimately have the power to choose whether to file for bankruptcy, and we will not try to persuade you otherwise. Our role as lawyers is to counsel you to help you make the best possible decision for you. We respect our clients to ultimately know what they think is best for them.

Morality

The definition of morality is a person’s concerns for the principles of right and wrong and how the behaviors they engage in match up with those principles. It is clearly important for individuals to live up to their obligations. However, consider this: What if a bank, credit card company or other lender extended far more credit to you than they reasonably or prudently should? What if they did that to sell your debt to someone else and make a profit? What if a lender charges you astronomical interest rates and late fees when you are unable to repay a sum that a reasonably prudent company would not have lent you in the first place? What if that lender then further refuses to try to work out a fair payment plan with you? What if the lender then sells your debt to a collection agency that calls and writes you threatening letters? How moral are those actions?

To safeguard yours and your family’s mental and physical wellbeing, is it morally wrong to seek a different solution to the scenarios described above? At what point is it no longer morally acceptable to let your debts to others jeopardize your commitments to yourself, your health, and your loved ones? What’s the moral and right thing to do then? Protect yourself, your health, and your family? Or should you protect companies that might have made bad business decisions or who may not have acted in good faith in other ways? We always remind our clients that they are free to repay their discharged debts after the bankruptcy has concluded if they feel compelled to do so. In fact, you would likely be better financially able to do that after bankruptcy.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code itself contains some important “moral” components. First, the code requires anyone who files for bankruptcy to have “clean hands,” meaning they must have acted in good faith. That means that a debtor cannot discharge debts that involve fraud, driving under the influence, and deliberate wrongdoing. You also cannot use bankruptcy to discharge secured loans, child support obligations, alimony and most student loans and taxes. The bankruptcy system uses these and other devices to balance justice and morality in the process of providing society with a very crucial and legitimate process for debt forgiveness.

Your Right to File for Bankruptcy is in the United States Constitution

Congress has the authority to establish “uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States” under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is the foundation and source of all legal authority in the United States. That document created our system of a representative and democratic government, and it established the framework of a unique three-branch system of government with checks and balances incorporated into each branch’s powers. It also set out the federal government’s role as it relates to the states, citizens, and everyone within the United States. Our founding fathers knew that it was necessary to set up a system that allows for individuals and corporations to discharge debts in bankruptcy. This legitimate and important function is directly addressed in our nation’s most important and powerful document—the U.S. Constitution.

Religion

The basic idea of bankruptcy—which is really forgiveness—is a theme that runs throughout the Bible. In fact, the Bible specifically refers to the forgiveness of debt. Biblical law required debts to be released after seven years. “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release” (Deuteronomy 15:1-2). American bankruptcy law adds one year to the biblical cycle by permitting debtors to discharge their debts in sequential chapter 7 actions once every eight years.

The Bible also directs us to ask God to “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12, Luke 11:4). It emphasizes the significance of debt forgiveness in passages such as, “And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both” (Luke 7:42).

But I Feel Like I am A Failure If I File for Bankruptcy

Taking bankruptcy does not make you a failure! Here are but a few examples of extremely successful people who have filed for bankruptcy at some point in their lives:

  • Walt Disney declared bankruptcy before eventually creating Disney World in Orlando.
  • P.T. Barnum filed for bankruptcy and four years later got into the circus business.
  • Kim Bassinger, after her bankruptcy, went on to win an Oscar for her role in the movie L.A. Confidential.
  • Lorraine Bracco was bankrupt before she played the role of a psychologist on the incredibly successful HBO show, “The Sopranos.”
  • Toni Braxton filed and later went on to sign a $25 million singing contract.
  • Francis Ford Coppola recovered from bankruptcy to become the director of the Godfather trilogy, winner of five Academy Awards and owner of a successful winery.
  • Henry John Heinz filed for bankruptcy as his company that made horseradish, pickles, sauerkraut, and vinegar went out of business. He then immediately started a new company introducing a new condiment, tomato ketchup.
  • Larry King filed for bankruptcy in 1960 and then again in 1978.
  • Henry Ford filed for bankruptcy after his first of three automobile companies failed. A second one was also a failure. Then, at the age of 40, he created a third company, the Ford Motor Company.

If you or anyone you know is considering filing for bankruptcy, call us today at (754) 400-5150 or contact us online. Our country’s history is filled with examples of people who have struggled financially but have gone on to become famously wealthy. They all reclaimed their part of the American Dream and we want to help you reclaim yours! Let the lawyers and staff at the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!

Under federal law, we are a "debt relief agency." In addition to other legal services, we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Rosen was recommended to us by our friends and we highly recommend him for his excellent service. He represented us in the matter of foreclosure defense. His comprehensive and detailed knowledge of Florida law, federal law, and ongoing relevant cases was key to building a robust and winning strategy for our case. He presented us with several options and the risks associated with each, but ultimately, we picked the one that worked best for us. Mr. Rosen and his legal team are highly professional and always easily approachable via phone or e-mail. Once again, highly recommended. Jadwiga M.
★★★★★
In a few words, Evan Rosen saved my house. He got a final judgment in my favor. The judge gave the bank many opportunities (continuance of the trial even a mistrial) to solve all the issues that Evan Rosen will bring up to the judge (issues that were wrong with my case). In the end, his arguments could not be overlooked by the judge and Evan won the judgment in favor of the defendant (me) and an involuntary dismissal of the case. If you want to have the best chances to win your foreclosure case, you need Evan Rosen on your side. He is the Super Lawyer. I have seen him flying out of the courthouse. Oscar D.
★★★★★
I am so grateful first to god and for the blessing of putting attorney Evan Rosen and his team of professional, in our lives. If you are going through a foreclosure and don't know what to do, I can honestly tell you that attorney Evan Rosen is the person to talk (855-55-Rosen) he takes his time to hear your situation and never sugar coats anything and he does not give you false hope. He is an attorney that you can be sure will fight the fight for you. I know nowadays it's hard to find an attorney that you can trust, but know this, you will not regret the day you choose him. Julie D.