Behm Law Group, Bankruptcy Attorneys

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Debt Punishment of the Past Compared to Today’s Bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN

February 6th, 2018 · No Comments

For as long as the concept of trade has been around, so has the concept of debt. Today, debtors have a wide range of options to recover from financial difficulties. Filing for bankruptcy is one of the most viable options for debt recovery we have as US citizens. Bankruptcy is designed to handle a filer’s debts in a process that provides fair treatment of creditors’ claims and results in a manageable situation for the filer. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we have seen the system of bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, prove its worth time and time again with each successful financial recovery our clients make.

We provide legal support with Chapter 7, 12, and 13 bankruptcies for community members and businesses in Mankato, MN, and the surrounding Southern Minnesota area, and we stand by the value of a successful bankruptcy case in helping our clients recover.

While the system of bankruptcy is a great option today, the debtors of the past didn’t have things so easy. In fact, there has been a wide range of harsh punishments for debtors throughout history.

A few of the most notorious punishments for debtors in history include:

  • Debt Slavery Laws: Up until 326 BCE, “debt slavery” in Rome and Greece was a common practice. Because there was no option for bankruptcy, debtors would instead pledge their labor as a security interest on loans. Creditors could take advantage of this security pledge and keep debtors in a slave-like internment until they could repay their debts. Slave bondage could even be passed from parent to child.
  • Death Penalty: Under the reign of Genghis Khan, debtors were given even fewer choices if they could not repay their loans. While they had the option to declare a form of relief akin to bankruptcy, after the third declaration, they were sentenced to death.
  • Medieval Penalties: Colloquially known as the Dark Ages, the medieval times have a reputation for hard conditions and harsh punishments. Debt punishments were no exception and included anything from flogging and branding to execution.
  • Imprisonment: Today, debts are not often associated with prison. Even fraudulent behavior in a bankruptcy case will most likely result in no harsher penalty than the dismissal of that case or the denial of debt relief. In Victorian England, however, failure to pay debts was punished with prison sentences or with exile to the British Empire’s “prison island” of Australia.

Debtors in today’s legal system can rest easy and know that they have many options to settle financial woes through the system of bankruptcy. Whether you qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapters 12 and 13 reorganization, the process of bankruptcy can turn the tides of unmanageable debt.

Contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 for expert support and legal counsel from beginning to end when you choose to file for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN.

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