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Is Filing For Bankruptcy The Chrisitan Thing To Do?

Author : Jim Brown

Forgiveness can take on many forms. As a bankruptcy attorney I see forgiveness in the form of forgiving debt as well as in the Christian sense of the word.

Many Christians initially feel guilty about their decision to seek the protection of bankruptcy—the reason for this is that they feel their creditors deserve to be paid. However, these two concepts of forgiveness are quite similar. In fact, under Biblical law, debts were 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)

Modern Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws allow people to file for a discharge of their debts once every eight years. This gives debtors a fresh start, while still placing limits to ensure they don't immediately fall back into financial trouble.

This concept of forgiveness and fresh start has roots in the New Testament, as well. In fact, in two parables, Jesus used forgiveness of a financial debt as an example of God's forgiveness of mankind (see Matthew 18:21-35 and Luke 7:36-50). "And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both."

Of course, there is a balance (like with most Biblical laws). If you can repay your debts, then you must do so. A main principle of American bankruptcy laws is that you must have "clean hands" in order to get protection." Due to this, you can't discharge debts involving drunk driving, fraud, or other criminal offenses. Futhermore, most student loans and taxes cannot be discharged.

And let's not overlook the biggest and most obvious example of forgiveness. We know Jesus died for our sins because the debt was too big for mankind to bear. And if you've mismanaged you're finances, or experienced extreme hardship, the Bible has provided for your relief from debt.

Everyone needs a little help sometimes. The first step is acknowledging that you are in debt. The next is to find a bankruptcy attorney who is willing to respect your beliefs and address your reservations as a Christian.

Author's Resource Box

James Brown is a personal bankruptcy attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. He has filed over 30,000 bankruptcy cases and published many books and articles. You can request his free Missouri and Illinois bankruptcy guide for the best tips on how to prepare for your bankruptcy and find a great bankruptcy attorney.

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Tags:   St Louis bankruptcy attorney, Christian, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, St Louis debt relief guide

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Submitted : 2011-01-28    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 179