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Home Page > Finance > Accounting > Bankruptcy – How to Succeed

Bankruptcy – How to Succeed

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Posted: Oct 22, 2008 |Comments: 0




Bankruptcy may be defined as the legally declared inability of an individual or organisation to pay their creditors, who represent a third party which supplied, to the individual or organisation, a product or service for which they are legally entitled to receive full settlement.

As part of a process called involuntary bankruptcy, a creditor may instigate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor in order to secure the funds for which they are owed. However, in the majority of cases, such proceedings are not required. Under the auspices of a voluntary bankruptcy, the bankruptcy process is initiated by the debtor, which means that it is filed by the bankrupt individual or organisation.

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In the Old Testament of the Bible and Hebrew Scriptures, the laws of Moses laid down that one Holy or Jubilee Year should take place every 50 years. Accordingly, on this day, all debts would be expunged from all Jews, and all debt slaves would be freed from their encumbrances, this being part of a heavenly command.

In fact, the Hebrew, or Jewish law of debt forgiveness, can be found in the Bible, in the book of Deuteronomy 15:1-2 which gives gives clear instructions on the release from debt of all encumbered individuals every seven years. In the book of Nehemiah chapter 5, there is an entry relating to debt forgiveness among the Jewish repatriates to Jerusalem.

Further, bankruptcy did not exist in ancient Greece, which relates to the period from circa 1100 BC and the Dorian invasion, to 146 BC and the Roman conquest of Greece after the battle of Corinth. In such times, only locally born adult males could be classified as citizens. Accordingly, it was only the fathers who were entitled to legal ownership of property. Thus, every member of his family would be forced into what was called debt slavery if a father was unable to settle his outstanding debts. This would include his wife, children and servants. Such a status would be retained until the creditor had received due compensation by way of their combined physical labour.

In many city states in ancient Greece, debt slavery was restricted to a period of five years, and debt slaves were given the protection of life and limb, which regular slaves did not enjoy. On the other hand, servants of the debtor were not so fortunate. In fact, they could be retained beyond the five year deadline by the creditor and were often forced to serve their new master for possibly even a lifetime, usually under significantly harsher conditions.

The term Bankruptcy has its origins in the ancient Latin word bancus, which refers to a long bench or possibly a table, and ruptus which means broken. The term bank originally referred to a bench.

The first bankers positioned this bench in public places, in markets, fairs, and such like, and upon which they conducted their financial affairs. They also wrote their bills of exchange, which was a written order by the drawer, who withdraws the funds, to the drawee, the banker, to pay money to the payee, who requires the funds.

Therefore, when a banker’s business failed, he broke his bank, that is to say his bench. In this way, the public would be made aware of the fact that the person to whom the bank belonged was no longer able to continue his banking business.

Bankruptcy – How To Succeed

Peter Radford writes Articles with Websites on a wide range of subjects. Bankruptcy Articles cover History, Role in Europe/US, Types, Prevention.

His Website contains a total of 39 Bankruptcy Articles, written by others and carefully selected.

View his Website at:

View his Blog at:







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Questions and Answers

Ask our experts your Accounting related questions here…200 Characters left

I have credit card bills from 9 years ago, can i include them for bankruptcy? i believe most if not all have gone to collections or law firmd?
HI, I have gone bankrupt and have a joint house with my partner and she has placed an offer to buy my equity in the property, but now a creditor is interested in my equity, but can he do that?

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