If you’re struggling with financial hardship, you are not alone. Today, over 38 million people in America live at or below the poverty line. While finances should never be paired with human decency, unfortunately for hundreds of years, they have gone hand in hand with social comment. In years past, millions of people living in poverty with debts to pay were treated much differently, and more severely, than they are today. If you are in need of financial relief and are filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, you are making a positive choice for your household that is trending away from any social stigma. Indeed, Behm Law Group Ltd. can help you work through your bankruptcy case and receive long-term debt relief that is much different than history’s strange and often drastic reactions to debt.
In the past, holding debt was much more dangerous and unsettling than it is with today’s bankruptcy laws. Years ago, in many parts of the world, if you were a debtor and were unable to repay your lender, you could be subject to some unnerving consequences such as those that follow.
Corporal punishment: Throughout the majority of history, debtors were punished with physical harm if they did not or could not pay their lenders. A sentence might have manifested itself as a beating, stockage, mutilation, or other similar negative reprisal. In fact, throughout many societies, corporal punishment in varying degrees of severity was the most common consequence of not repaying your debt.
Death penalty: The most severe punishment for unpaid debts was execution. Infamously, the vast empire of Ghengis and Kublai Khan demanded an execution penalty for unpaid debts that was typically inflicted by trampling a debtor to death under horse foot.
Jail time: Throughout history, being thrown into a dungeon or jailed for some time was another common punishment. While jail conditions of the past were significantly less sanitary and more dangerous than they are today, at the time, imprisonment was considered one of the least severe punishments for debtors.
Slavery: Ancient Greeks and Romans implemented debt slavery laws that forced debtors (and often their family members) into indentured labor positions. Debt slaves could work off what they owed over time, but more frequently than not, they faced a life sentence of hard servitude.
“Compromise”: In societies where debt settlements were directly worked out between the lender and borrower, certain compromises were available. These “compromises,” however, were often less than fair to the debtor and could include sacrificing your wife and daughters as property, offering sons into slavery, or facing public humiliation. One compromise is where bankruptcy, which comes from the Latin bancus ruptus, literally “broken bench,” got its name. In ancient Rome, businesses operated from a simple bench or a stall. If they could not repay their debts, creditors could carry off or destroy/break their bench/storefront.
There are many other strange ways we have handled debts in the past, but today, we have a well-established system of government-mandated bankruptcy law. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.