Unlike other legal issues, unmanageable financial debt is a problem that many are too ashamed to discuss with their friends and family. This means that many people piece together their knowledge about bankruptcy from unreliable and confusing sources. The result is that there are a lot of misconceptions about bankruptcy. In these 5 posts we will write about the most common misconceptions that we hear from clients in our office.
"The Congress shall have power to…establish…uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States"
-The Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4
Bankruptcy is one of the oldest laws in the United States, and was included in the original 1787 draft of the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the originating language is older than the Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers recognized that a system of laws was necessary to protect the “honest but unfortunate debtor”, and such laws were in the general interest of the country and its citizens.
Many people are proud to stand up for, and take advantage of, their constitutional protections – and they should be. From its original incarnation and its amendments over the years, such protections have become the cornerstone of our society, our government and our way of life.
So, should you be ashamed of filing for bankruptcy?
Well, are you are ashamed of your freedom of speech, or freedom from unwarranted searches and seizures, or freedom of self incrimination? Are you ashamed of your right to elect a president or legislative representatives? Why be ashamed of utilizing one constitutional protection, but not others?
Now, I am not suggesting that filing bankruptcy is somehow a patriotic thing to do. Actions have consequences, and the consequences to bankruptcy should certainly be considered whenever you are considering any debt resolution plan. Put another way, just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. But, if you ever find yourself in the position where you should be considering bankruptcy, know that you are in good company. Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin, among others, would have supported your ability to do so.
If you’re not swayed by my flag-waiving, red, white and blue history lesson, ask yourself which is more shameful: Finding yourself and your family in a difficult financial situation and choosing to do nothing about it, or finding yourself in a difficult financial situation and using the law to improve your finances so that you can better provide for you and your family’s needs.
Kelsey & Trask, P.C.’s attorneys are here to help you find financial freedom no matter what mistakes you have made in the past. If you’ve made some questionable financial decisions in the past, admit your mistakes, correct your behaviors, and find a qualified attorney to help fix the problem.
After all, it’s your right to do so.