Going through bankruptcy is something that no one imagines for themselves when dreaming of the future. But sometimes life is overwhelming. Family tragedies, medical emergencies, lack of planning, or long-term illnesses can take their toll on finances and sometimes they become overwhelming and hopeless. But thankfully we live in an age where relief from debt can be pursued, and people are valued more than the sum of their debt.

In ancient times, it was common practice to sell everything that the debtor owned and enslave a debtor (and his family/servants) in order to work off his debts (if he ever was able to, which was not particularly common). Sometimes the penalty for not repaying debts was death.

The first known example of bankruptcy is recorded in the biblical book of Deuteronomy where members of the Jewish society were required to forgive all debts owed to them every seven years. In Islamic teaching, according to the Quran, a debtor was to be allowed time to be able to pay out his debt. The first modern appearances of bankruptcy appear in the 1500’s with Spain declaring state bankruptcies. But the penalties for not repaying loans was still severe in most cases. It wasn’t until the 1700s in England that we start to see legislation forming that foreshadows the laws of today. So no one truly ‘invented’ bankruptcy, it was a combination of different cultures and values that formed what we know today as bankruptcy in the United States.

Thankfully, there are laws and options to people who are overwhelmed with how to repay mounting debts. There are two main options available to most individuals, covered in this earlier article about Bankruptcy. Here at Atlas Law, we want to give you all your options and figure out a solution that fits your situation & needs. Money isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but know that you will find a listening ear with us; and the experience to help your personal situation.


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