Christian Bankruptcy Alternative

Christian Bankruptcy Alternatives hopes that we can provide a resource that allows Christians to explore either credit counseling or debt settlement as a viable option to resolving their unsecured debt problems.  We feel that filing personal bankruptcy should be the choice of "last resort". We encourage all Christians to avoid filing personal bankruptcy until they have exhausted all other possible solutions. We consider our participation in guiding Christians toward alternatives to bankruptcy an important mission. 

The effects of filing bankruptcy are both far-reaching and long lasting.  A bankruptcy remains on your credit history (credit report) for up to 10 years.  It can make obtaining any form of new credit extremely difficult.  This is not limited to unsecured credit (i.e. credit cards, personal loans) but also includes challenges with financial institutions extending you credit for the purchase of a home or your vehicle.  In recent years, there is a trend in the marketplace where employers are requiring a credit check for those applicants seeking employment with them.  The decision makers are reviewing credit reports before making their final hiring decisions. Our point is that filing bankruptcy should be taken very seriously, and all other reasonable alternatives should be explored first before this is considered as an option.

Filing bankruptcy is a legal procedure and there are two primary types of personal bankruptcy available to individuals in severe financial distress.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Personal Bankruptcy

In this form of bankruptcy, the court is asked to essentially forgive all your debts.  In turn, you must turn over all your non-exempt property so that it may be liquidated and the funds used to pay off your unsecured creditors.  A court appointed trustee handles this entire process.  While this form of bankruptcy erases all your debts, can stop liens on your property, stop the garnishment of your wages, and prevent harassing collection calls from creditors, it is an emotionally difficult procedure.  The court appointed trustee must review and approve almost every single financial transaction for an extended period of time.  It is a humbling experience and there is an emotional price in terms of the feeling of failure that often goes "hand in hand" with the filing of a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. For this reason, we encourage Christians to explore alternatives that prevent them from having to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Personal Bankruptcy

In this form of bankruptcy, the liquidation of assets by the individual is not mandated by the court.  Instead, the court does allow those individuals with a steady source of income to keep their property such as their mortgaged home or their vehicle.  The court will determine the monthly disposable income, and this amount must be "pledged" to the court appointed trustee, who in turn distributes these monies to your creditors.  The repayment plans are typically three to five years in length.  At the end of that term, any remaining debts are discharged.  While harassing collection calls from creditors do stop and certain property may be retained (house/auto), there is still the "stigma" and long term effects of a personal bankruptcy filing on both credit history and in court records. 

Personal Bankruptcy Filings on the Rise 

In calendar year 2006, bankruptcy filings were just under 600,000 and these filings were predominantly for non-business debts. Not surprisingly, bankruptcy filings have been on the rise the last several years with 2007 reporting 827,000 filings, and 2008 reporting 1,095,000 filings.  With the serious economic downturn in 2009, personal bankruptcy filings are estimated to reach an all time high of 1,500,000. Bankruptcy alternatives are more important than ever to Christians in severe financial circumstances. If your goal is to avoid filing personal bankruptcy and privately resolve your unsecured debt problems, we encourage you to request a complimentary consultation to hear about our Christian alternatives to bankruptcy. You owe it to yourself and your family to pursue all available bankruptcy alternatives in your quest to build a better financial future! It just may be possible to stop the overwhelming burden of debt and financial problems by exploring the alternative solutions that have helped so many Christian families avoid the filing of a personal bankruptcy.


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