I have over $20K in credit card debt. Four years ago my husband wanted to start his own business and I was carrying the bulk of salary. As you can see from the debt, his business cost us more than it was worth.
We made the mistake of getting involved with The name of the company is Freedom Financial Law or they also go by Christian Debt Law based in Colorado but the attorney is in San Diego. Believe me this has been a true thorn in my side and I feel foolish for not working with the creditors myself. Three of the creditors settled. But now we are in 3 lawsuits with three differnt creditors!
I own nothing. We had leased a truck and had to wait till we paid enough into it to return it without owing a lot. Please advise! Bankruptcy seems to be the only way out, but biblically not right. We have a son in college and a
daughter in school. HELP!
Thank you so much for the question and the warnings about Freedom Financial Law and Christian Debt Law. Amazing how many people can put a Christian smile on a do the exact opposite to their fellow man.
As far as bankruptcy being not biblically right, I’d have to say you are dead wrong on that. In fact there are some pretty terrific honestly Christian bankruptcy attorneys that comment frequently on this site.
I’ll tell you what is definitely not biblical, is selling you a debt settlement program that did not do what it was promised to do and left you poorer and still getting sued.
Here is what Carl Starrett, a bankruptcy attorney in California says about “Is Bankruptcy Scriptural?”
I am often asked what the Bible says about Christians filing for bankruptcy and it a serious spiritual struggle for many. Christians often struggle with feelings of guilt that creditors will not be repaid. Others feel that they have failed God by not being good stewards with their money. Others believe that the Bible condemns bankruptcy. I found answers to many of these questions in the attached article written Matthew B. Tozer, Esq. and Ben E. Lofstedt, Esq. [see below]
The authors begin with the premise the Bible expressly grants permission for Christians to file bankruptcy: “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).
They go on discuss a number of Old Testament and New Testament passages that discuss concepts of sin, mercy, forgiveness and equity. The authors ultimately conclude, correctly I believe, that bankruptcy is biblical and spiritually available to Christians. However, the ultimate decision to file for bankruptcy and the type of bankruptcy to file must still be made after prayerful consideration to seek guidance from from God regarding what decision he would have you make.
Although the subject does not always come up with our clients, we are a Christian law firm. We are a bankruptcy and debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy. We are sensitive to the Biblical and spiritual issues implicated by filing for bankruptcy. Please call me at (619) 448-2129 for further assistance is making the decision to file bankruptcy.
Is Bankruptcy Scriptural
What does the Bible say?
Many Christians feel guilty about seeking to file for bankruptcy protection. They feel guilty because they ran up large debts on their credit cards and now are unable to pay back the money to their creditors. Some Christians feel bad that their creditors will not be paid. Others have heard that the Bible condemns bankruptcy. Yet before we begin, it is important for us to define what is meant by the term “bankruptcy”; then, we can critically examine what the Bible tells us.
In the United States of America, our founding fathers recognized the importance of bankruptcy. In the U.S. Constitution, they provided our government with the right to make bankruptcy laws. The bankruptcy laws and procedures we have today, instituted by our federal government, provide relief for overburdened debtors. Persons/entities who are over-their-head in debt can get a fresh start. Normally, a bankruptcy will discharge the debtor’s obligation to repay some or all debts.
Bankruptcy contemplates the “forgiveness” of debt. The Bible, likewise, contains debt forgiveness laws. Under U.S. law, a debtor may only receive a discharge of debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight (8) years. Under Biblical law, the release of debts came at the end of seven (7) 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).
The Bible refers to debt as a type of bondage: “…the borrower is a slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). Thus, the debtor is a slave to the creditor. Interestingly, the Bible declares, at the end of the sixth year:
“…in the seventh year you shall let [your Hebrew slave] go free from you. And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away emptyhanded; but you shall supply him liberally from your flock…” (Deuteronomy 15:12-14).
Modern bankruptcy laws, like the Biblical provision above, allow debtors to keep certain property when they file bankruptcy. This gives debtors a fresh start and discourages debtors from going into debt-bondage again, after the bankruptcy is over, in order to survive.
Jesus taught us that sin is a type of spiritual debt. Jesus also taught us to ask God to “forgive us our debts [sins] as we forgive our debtors [those who sin against us]” (Matthew 6:12, Luke 11:4). Sin creates a spiritual debt. Borrowing produces a financial debt. Regarding our spiritual debt, the law of justice declares: “the wages of sin is death [separation from God]” (Romans 6:23a). However, the law of grace and mercy states that “the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). Jesus paid for our debt of sin on the cross, a debt too big for us to pay.
Likewise, economically, the law of justice states that if you agree to borrow money and repay the debt, you must pay back such debt. The law of mercy, on the other hand, states that if you cannot pay the debt back, you may, through bankruptcy, obtain forgiveness for your obligation.
As with any act of mercy, someone must bear the cost or the burden, just as Jesus did in dying for our sins. With bankruptcy, the creditor and ultimately the consumers must, in mercy, bear the burden of the unpaid debt, but God said He will bless us for such acts of forgiveness and mercy (Deuteronomy 15:5,10,18).
Jesus, in two (2) parables, used the illustration of forgiveness of a financial debt to teach about God’s forgiveness and the requirement that mankind forgive (see Matthew 18:21-35 and Luke 7:36-50). “And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both” (Luke 7:42). On a spiritual level, by the grace and mercy of God, Jesus gave us a “fresh start” by canceling all our “sin” debts through His suffering and death on the cross. On an economic level, our nation will graciously help overburdened debtors, if necessary, by giving them a fresh start economically.
A guiding principle of U.S. bankruptcy law requires persons who file for bankruptcy to have “clean hands.” Accordingly, a debtor may not be freed from debts involving fraud, drunk driving, and deliberate wrongdoing. Moreover, bankruptcy law does not allow the discharge of child support and alimony debts. Further, most student loans, taxes (Romans 13:1,4,7) and secured loans are not forgiven in bankruptcy. Through these restrictions, bankruptcy laws seek to balance justice and equity (Proverbs 1:3).
As with most biblical principles, there is a balance. If you can repay your debts, you must. If you cannot, then you should determine how God would have you freed from the bondage of debt. Our modern bankruptcy laws were derived from the Bible (Deuteronomy 15:1-2). Further, the Bible describes financial miracles (2 Kings 4:1-7). Ultimately, you must seek wisdom and guidance from God as to the direction He would have you choose. God promises to give such wisdom to those who ask with a trusting heart (James 1:5-7; Proverbs 3:5-6). Further, the Bible admonishes us to seek Godly counsel (Psalms 1:1; Proverbs 12:15, 11:14, 15:22).
If you have mismanaged your finances, confess your failings to God now. You can receive, by faith, His forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). Remember, there is no condemnation or guilt to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Jesus, by His love and mercy, gave us a fresh start, a new birth. Bankruptcy, based on the law of mercy with divine origins, if necessary, may provide you with a fresh start – a new and brighter economic outlook.
Source: Matthew B. Tozer and Ben E. Lofstedt