Is bankruptcy morally acceptable?


Of course bankruptcy is legal and you do not break the civil law by declaring bankruptcy and having some of your debts cancelled. But is it morally acceptable to stop paying people what you owe them? Do you not have a moral obligation to pay back what you have borrowed from someone else? Is bankruptcy a legal way to commit theft and to steal from your creditors and since it is stealing, would it not be against the Commandment: Thou shalt not steal?


Matthew 18:23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he id not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt."

Kinda like bankruptcy.


yup. Repentance takes many forms.
I would imagine that bankruptcy is pretty humiliating. :shrug:


It would depend on the intent imo, my exwife had a situation where she bought a used truck, made about 4 payments, but when she tried to make the next payment, they would not accept it, they claimed they had no record of this truck, her or the lien.

We even went to the courthouse, the lien was on file and it listed this company as the lien-holder, even after showing them this, they continued to say it was not theirs. This was about 10 yrs ago and we never heard another thing about this truck from anyone, so someone was out about $9000. Im assuming this was due to loosing data or some technical glitch, but my ex wife was still concerned about this, she eventually went thru a bankruptcy, and this truck created problems in the process, its like no one knew a thing about this vehicle but felt they needed to connect it to someone, it was really strange, I joke with my ex to this day that she should have bought a Lamborghini with this company!


I’d say it’s fine, as long as you didn’t set out from the start to rip off your creditors.

A lot of people go bankrupt because of overwhelming medical expenses that they didn’t foresee.


There are different types of bankruptcy. In ch. 13- all debts are paid back, so it’s not like you get off scott-free.

There rules for bankruptcy in the US have changed drastically in the past few years,and it is not as easy to just “walk away” anymore.

As far as whether or not it is “moral”, I would say bankruptcy itself is morally neutral. The reason that someone finds themselves in the situation however, could be immoral.


Bankruptcy is morally acceptable and a form of which is also discussed in the Bible:

“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD’s release” (Deuteronomy 15:1-2).

It is not stealing or theft since there is zero intent. The intent is that which is needed at the time the debt is incurred. Naturally this is assuming that the debts can’t be paid back and that hitting the “reset button” is necessary because the sums are overwhelming.


I think this would go above and beyond bankruptcy, looks like this would apply to everyone, not just those who are bankrupt, so why isnt this done today or even suggested?


Sometimes illness forces one into bankruptcy.


This was called the Jubilee Year.

Scholars believe this is what Jesus referred to in Luke 4:19 when he referenced a “Year acceptable to the Lord”.

So yeah, in ancient times for the Israelites, slaves were freed, debts forgiven,etc. every 7 years. Then Jesus comes along and says “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Pretty cool stuff.


If one behaved well to the point of incurring bankruptcy, one has not stolen to that point, but one has caused (‘innocently’ if you will) losses to others. Is there a positive obligation to make good those losses?

Perhaps any obligation is somewhat akin to the other positive precepts of the law, whereby we are encouraged in a direction (eg. “Love they neighbour”) but not to the point of prescription.


Bankruptcy laws can be abused. Willingly purchasing extravagant things and taking fancy vacations on credit when one has no way to repay all of it and with the intention of making only minimal payments then declaring bankruptcy, basically equates to theft.

Intent matters. Most people never intended to get into difficult financial situations where they are unable to repay debts.

It is morally acceptable to use bankruptcy but not to abuse it.


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