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Bankruptcy and Its Effects on Families

Posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014    

Many people think of the word “bankruptcy” as a negative word, but for families struggling with uncontrollable debt it can be a positive word. The bankruptcy laws were put into place to protect individuals and families who need help dealing with creditor harassment and impossible-to-pay debt so that they could continue to function successfully.

Bankruptcy—Protection for Debtors

The original bankruptcy laws were designed to help individuals and families avoid the problems associated with England’s debtor prisons. In the not-too-distant past, family members could be imprisoned for debt, setting up an unbreakable cycle: the head of the family was imprisoned for owing money so he or she could not earn money. The family then suffered and got into more debt, perpetuating the cycle. One of the most famous victims of this vicious cycle was Charles Dickens, whose father was imprisoned for debt when the author was a young boy.

Today, there are no criminal penalties for debt unless fraud is involved. Instead, creditors mercilessly hound those who owe money with letters, phone calls and threats. It is not unusual for those who are in debt to receive five to ten phone calls and dozens of letters a week about their debts. This can shatter peace and cause tremendous stress and strain on the family.

Bankruptcy laws were passed to stop this problem from destroying families. Families today have options and can file for protecting under bankruptcy law to stop creditor harassment.

How Does Bankruptcy Help Families?

When families are affected by debt, the results are often negative. Families are often torn apart by uncontrollable debt as parents fight over money and are unable to pay for their children’s basic needs. However, bankruptcy may be able to provide protection for these families and solve these problems.

When a couple files bankruptcy jointly, for example, both partners are protected from harassment by creditors. The couple may be able to keep their home and vehicles so that they can get to work and can discharge most or all unsecured debt. When that happens, things often settle down at home and the couple and their children are able to start fresh dealing with the challenge of providing for basic needs.

Amerio Law firm can help families like yours seek protection under bankruptcy law from creditor harassment and lawsuits. Contact Amerio Law in Sacramento for more information on how we can help your family.

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