The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” This portion of the Declaration shows that human beings are supposed to be free and able to pursue a life of enjoyment. The role of Bankruptcy is to facilitate the freedom and pursuit of happiness of human beings.
There is a long and varied history behind bankruptcy; a form of debt relief that has ancient origins. Pretty much throughout all of human history, societies have decided that free people should not be slaves to their creditors. There almost always has been some form of debt relief throughout all of human history.
Bankruptcy is designed as a way to keep people free from becoming virtual slaves to those that they owe money to. As a civil society, as a free society, bankruptcy is necessary for those that have fallen on hard times to continue their pursuit of happiness. The most often quoted thoughts about bankruptcy comes down to the phrase, “a fresh start for an honest debtor.”
No matter how the debt was incurred, bankruptcy can offer a solution. Whether it is medical bills, credit card bills, or even in some cases back taxes. Bankruptcy has a way to help out those that are having a tough time with debt.
Creditors have rights to enforce their debt against people that owe them money and this can cause a slavery like situation. Creditors can garnish wages, take money out of bank accounts, and even put liens against a debtor’s house or other property. This is all done with the force of law behind them. If the creditor does these things, it can transform the debtor into a virtual slave for them. The Debtor will work for a large portion of their life with the main purpose of paying back that debt to the creditor. Bankruptcy brings a release from that slavery.
Although there are a few negative effects on credit reports, the effects are minimal compared to the freedom and relief that most people feel after filing for bankruptcy. No longer are creditors able to take money by force from bank accounts, or directly from wages. Debtors do not have worry about being served summons to appear in court. Debtors are once again free to live their lives and pursue happiness as they see fit.
There are some limitations on filing for bankruptcy, though. These limitations are designed to create a balance between the debtor and the creditor. Although the society wants people to be free to pursue happiness, the creditor also needs some protection to enforce its rights. It is simply unfair to allow debtors to discharge debt if they can afford to pay it or if they want to file for bankruptcy on a regular basis. That is why people need to qualify to file for bankruptcy in several ways which we will cover in another blog posting.
Ultimately, bankruptcy exists to grant relief to people that need to be free to live their lives. As a free society, people should be able to live their lives as they choose without being held as slaves to their creditors. Bankruptcy grants many people that freedom and we are here to navigate the complicated legal code for debtors who need that relief.
If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible for a discharge in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or if you have any other questions related to bankruptcy, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 636-352-2030 or check out our website at www.klinelawstl.com. We have offices in both St. Charles and St. Louis County and the consultation is always free.