When I meet with people who are considering filing bankruptcy, they often feel ashamed and guilty about their situation. They never planned on or even imagined having to file for bankruptcy, but health issues, job loss, and other life-changing situations beyond their control have brought them to my office.
Sometimes it helps them to know that they are not alone and that they will be able to piece their lives back together. Other times they are worried about what their religion says about bankruptcy; they wonder if they are being immoral.
Bankruptcy was contemplated by our Founding Fathers when they drafted the United States Constitution. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution provides that Congress has the power to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States. Although bankruptcy filings have significantly increased during the recession, bankruptcy is not a new concept.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy got its name from a passage in Deuteronomy:
At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought onto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release.
– Deuteronomy 15:1-2.
The seven year time period that is mentioned in the above passage is where the “7” in Chapter 7 bankruptcy comes from.
If filing bankruptcy has become inevitable, and you are struggling with feelings of guilt, I urge you to find someone who you can trust and confide in them. The bankruptcy process can often seem long and drawn out, and having someone to confide in during the process will be good for your emotional health.