The Moral Dilemma Of Bankruptcy

Kim wants to know if it's morally wrong to file for bankruptcy in all circumstances. Dave gives his take.

QUESTION: Kim on Facebook wants to know if it's morally wrong to file for bankruptcy in all circumstances. Dave gives his take.

ANSWER: I pull my morals as a person of faith from the Scriptures. I can't find in the Bible—ever—where it was okay not to repay what you owe. When I filed bankruptcy 22 years ago and didn't pay the people I owed as a result, I would call that morally wrong. It is legal, and the law of the land says it's okay. But everything the law of the land says is okay doesn't make it moral.

Where does that leave me? Does that leave me as an immoral person? It leaves me as a sinner in search of grace, which I found long ago. Does that make me sin all the more? No. Scripture addresses that kind of thing. It makes me want to avoid it, but do I avoid it perfectly? Oh, no. I mess up all the time. When I filed bankruptcy, one of the things I had to go through was forgiving myself.

I've never preached to someone to not file bankruptcy on a moral basis unless they've got the money sitting in the bank, and they just don't want to pay the bill. I will get all over you about that.

I guess if you want to debate morals, you have to first establish where your moral code comes from.