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I’m a Christian. Is Bankruptcy Moral? Will God Hate Me? – Maggie

By on March 18, 2013

“Dear Steve,

A number of years ago my husband and i had unfiled tax returns. the state taxes got filed and paid but not the federal returns. one year we were behind and had not paid in enough. it snowballed from there. they never came after us, but i felt awful so we gathered them up, filed them all at once. i went to the federal building every few months to find out what to do. i sent some token payments, but really needed help. it took a year to get a revenue officer. she was actually very professional and nice. she helped us get all set up to stay current and set up a payment plan on the past stuff. with the interest and penalties though the payments did not keep up. we were paying off the original amount of the tax if you added up the payments, but the rest grew like a malignant tumor.

the rest of our debt was modest. mortgages, yes, but we drive 10 yr old paid off cars and negligible consumer debt. just the big one.

we kept paying for years, happy to do so. one day they said they were yanking our agreement. we had not violated anything, truly. we sought the opinion of a tax specialist who assured us we had not inadvertantly done anything either. he said the tax debts were just aging and now the irs needed to grab what they could. they demanded double the payments, 3300.00/mo, and anything that had equity. we would have given up everything to them but the scary part was it would not have come close to paying even a significant part of the debt and they did not want to accept partial payment. the new agent wanted the payment even after proposing taking everything. we need our cars to get to work.

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the tax specialist said the tax debts were eligible for discharge under the code. we met with a referral for a bankruptcy attorney. he agreed and recommended a ch 7.

we filed. it is exhausting. i feel terrible. i am ashamed to say this but i am a christian. i am not ashamed of that but afraid of bringing shame to the Name. is it really moral? I don’t know….

Maggie”

Arms Open

Dear Maggie,

You are very confused at the moment. Being is debt is a math problem wrapped in emotion and guilt. It’s easy to cast doubt and blame at yourself when you are feeling down and out.

You can pour on all the guilt you want but that does not change the fact you took action to deal with your debt, you will learn from the experience and move forward in a healthier way, and God is not punishing you. In fact it could be said that God loves you so much that God led you to a fresh start and second chance.

I have a number of links below that will address your situation and put it into perspective.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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