What is Bankruptcy?

The word “bankruptcy” has roots from two words found in ancient Latin; “bancus” which translates to “bench,” and “ruptus,” which can be interpreted as “break” or “shattered.” In ancient times a “banker” would set-up his bench in the market area and conduct his business. When a banker failed or lost his money, the bench would be broken and put on public display so everyone would know that this particular banker was out of business or “broke.”

In ancient Greece, bankruptcy did not exist. If someone became indebted to another, they became “debt slaves” until their obligation was discharged. Thankfully, England began to write laws and statutes in the 14th century that dealt with insolvency, providing the model for laws adopted by the United States and specifically dealt with in our Constitution. Although guidelines exist, bankruptcy law varies from state to state.

Across Minnesota and the country there has been an alarming, and news-making, increase of bankruptcy cases filed over the past several years. Student loan debt is a hot topic issue as students, carrying many thousands of dollars in student loan debt, graduate and face a struggling economy and sluggish job growth.   Along with an alarming increase in medical costs (which is the number one cause of bankruptcy), these two dilemmas can add to the financial burden of those subjected to sudden lay-offs, lengthy unemployment, prolonged unproductive employment searches and/or underemployment. Divorce can also put tremendous financial strain on both parties. These are not rare occurrences but things folks deal with every day which can stress financial wellbeing past tolerable limits.

Whatever may have caused an accumulation of unmanageable debt, make sure that you take the time to find a qualified attorney to advise and represent you. If you live in Southern Minnesota, the certified and experienced legal firm you can trust to work hardest for you when your financial future is at stake is the Behm Law Group.