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|757-539-4114 | 302 N. Main St. | Suffolk, Virginia|
|* The Law Offices of Steve C Taylor, also doing business as A Able Attorneys|
307 Albemarle Drive Civic Center
Chesapeake, Virginia 23322-5571
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-9057 ...
PO Box 129
711 Crawford Street Portsmouth, Virginia 23705
100 St. Paul's Boulevard
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
PO Box 1648
150 North Main Street Suffolk, Virginia 23439
(1 st judicial district of Virginia)307 Albemarle Drive Civic Center Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
(2nd judicial district of Virginia 2425 10, Judicial Center, Nimmo Parkway, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
(5th Judicial Circuit of Virginia.) 150 North Main Street Suffolk, Virginia 23439
It was never God's intention to create a society where indebtedness was a crime. If we look toward the roots and legal structure of the Jewish society set forth in the Old Testament, we see a picture exactly the opposite from that of the remainder of the world. We see a society where loans were kept to a minimum by force of law, and gratuity and charity, by force of law, were kept to a maximum. To accomplish this end, God did not outlaw borrowing and lending, but instead He provided that loans would eventually become gifts, and thereby limited loans only to those in need. He permitted the loan to take place, and the consequent legal obligation to repay to arise, but He limited the legal obligation to repay to a maximum of only seven years. Every seventh year all lenders were to release their debtors from all their debts. Every seventh year, the debtors were discharged from all their loans and were no longer legally obligated to repay them. The debtor was free of all loans, and by force of law the creditor had made a gift:
"At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor who lends 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." Deut. 15:1,2.
This has approximately the same effect as a discharge in bankruptcy today:
"A discharge in a case under this title . . . operates as an injunction against the commencement or continuation or an action, the employment of process, or an act, to collect, recover or offset any such debt . . . " 11 USC Sec. 524(a)((2).
In the view of the world today, as well as at that time it is the debt, and the paying of it, which is of paramount importance. The debt is far more important than the debtor. Creditors are not in the least concerned with the hardship they cause to debtors when they collect, nor are they concerned with what the debtor must do in order to pay the debt. The debtor is irrelevant; it is the debt that is important.
In Scripture it is exactly the opposite; in Scripture, it is the debtor who is far more important than the debt. And it is forgiveness of debt and charity and giving that is stressed and required, not repayment. In Scripture, the person is more important than the money.
The release from debt means that at one point in time, the debtor can become free of his debts even if he cannot pay them. This benign concept forms the core of the belief that a person should, in this life, possess the legal and moral ability to start over, no matter how much he owes. In Deuteronomy 15 and Leviticus 25, God not only permitted the release of debt but He also made release from debt an obligatory and a continuously recurring phenomenon. The release of debt found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus carries generally the same result as the release of debt provided in modern bankruptcy laws. The release of debt in modern bankruptcy laws is called a "Discharge of debt." In both cases it is a release and a discharge from debt.
There are other similarities between the laws of today and the biblical laws. For instance, under modern United States bankruptcy laws the debtor cannot obtain a release more often than once every eight years, 11 USC Sec. 727 (a) (8); Moses provided for seven years, Dt. 15:1. Modern bankruptcy law provides for a discharge of certain debts, but not all, 11 USC Sec. 523; the biblical bankruptcy was also limited, but in different areas, Dt. 15:2, Lv. 25. Today, after a bankruptcy has been filed and after a discharge is obtained, the debtor is protected from any legal process to collect his debts (11 USC Sec. 362, 524); the same was true for Old Testament debtors whose creditors could not "exact" their debts (Dt. 15:2, Lv. 25:17).
If God saw nothing unrighteous with a very debtor-oriented release in the Old Testament, it is difficult to believe that He would consider a more conservative and more difficult release of debt to be unrighteous under today's laws. God invented the discharge of debts. God is a God of forgiveness and he wants His people to be forgiving people, and this includes financial forgiveness as well as moral forgiveness (Luke 16:1-13). A legal bankruptcy of today can therefore be fully in accord with scripture.
When you file a bankruptcy, you must come to a point where you must finally admit that you cannot pay your debts. For some people, this is not easy, because pride gets in the way. However, once pride is ignored and the need is admitted, you make a conscious decision to file bankruptcy and publicly admit how much you really owe and admit that you can.t pay it. Once this is done and your bankruptcy is finished, then it is as if all of your debts (all of your dischargeable debts) have been paid and you are free to begin again. This too can be very healing. It is for this reason that we believe in what we do here, and we believe that an honest bankruptcy based upon honest needs is all right with God.
A bankruptcy is an effective means to deliver a debtor from the servitude of impossible debt and to break the cycle of borrowing. It will not, however, cure the debtor of the habit of living on borrowed money. Only the debtor himself can deliver the permanent cure. Bankruptcy, especially if it occurs because of consumer borrowing, is something that should happen no more than once in a lifetime, if then. It should be a means to change and to adjust one's self to a way of life based upon the reality of ownership rather than the fiction of borrowing. It should be used in conjunction with a change of direction. A bankruptcy should be the beginning of something and the end of something. It should be the end of an overwhelming debt burden and the beginning of a new way of life.
Today's technology has allowed the Virginia law firm to offer on-line chat and legal assistance to the law office clients of sites such as Virginia accident attorney and Virginia Divorce Attorney . The rapid success enjoyed by this on-line offering has been acclaimed by clients and is now being offered by Bankruptcy Attorney and legal defense firms such as Criminal Defense Attorney. Easy access to law firms and the ability to determine appointment availability has attracted Virginia Traffic Attorney to the network and may soon attract others. Christian Rights Ministries is considering starting a similar online chat network with related Christian sites and legal resources.