How You Should Feel About Filing Bankruptcy?
Charles E. Davis, Managing Partner
Bankruptcy is a hard choice, but there are things that are important to understand.
The concept of Bankruptcy originated anciently. In the Old Testament we read in Deuteronomy 15:1-2, “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 unto 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.” In other words, every seven years the Israelites were commanded to forgive the debts of one another.
Bankruptcy is distinctly different from thievery or embezzlement, though some would have you think otherwise. Both anciently and in modern times, bankruptcy is a recognition that men and women make mistakes, or are victims of unanticipated events: physical and emotional storms, disabilities, lost jobs, bad investments, health problems, etc.
When I was a teenager, my father’s business failed. It was a difficult time for the family and in the 60’s there was a stigma attached to a man who filed bankruptcy. But I learned a lot about character during that time. My father did everything he could to salvage the business and save the jobs of his employees. But he was thrown into an involuntary bankruptcy when his lenders and vendors refused to extend further credit. That resulted in a personal bankruptcy, too.
Even before the bankruptcy was final, however, he was working to find jobs for some of his employees and looking for a job himself. He got up every day, held his head high and went about his business. And in subsequent years he did OK.
I, and all who know my father, measure him by his integrity, and willingness to do what needed to be done to protect and provide for his family; they don’t measure him by his bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy for all of us is a chance for forgiveness and an opportunity to move forward. We should be grateful for those who have trusted us and extended us credit. When there is no other way, however, for us to move forward in life, or protect our family, we have been given bankruptcy as a channel through these difficult times, a channel that leads to a new start with accumulated wisdom that, hopefully, will guide us to better days.
Davis Miles attorneys in our Bankruptcy Department will assist you with care, empathy and expertise through this difficult decision. And if they can help you find a way around bankruptcy, they will point out that too. But if not, they will help guide you through it to those better days that await you, tomorrow. So, how should you feel about filing bankruptcy? Sad, that you can’t repay those who lent you money, in good faith, perhaps angry, if someone took advantage of you, courageous, for taking the step, and grateful for a system and a country that gives you a new day, with new promise and hope for a brighter future.
Managing Partner, Davis Miles, PLLC
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