There are many moral and ethical considerations in the decision to file for bankruptcy.
It is true that you should pay your debts if you are able, and many people feel that their faith discourages
using bankruptcy to avoid payment of debts. This isn't just something that affects only Christians. Most religions teach the
importance of keeping your word and paying your debts, but most religions also believe in forgiveness. Most religions teach
that to honor, value, and provide a safe home for family, is among of the highest priorities a person has.
I don't know of anywhere in the Bible that says that you should put payment of creditors ahead of providing
for your family. Credit cards and the lending practices of modern day creditors didn't exist when the Bible was written, so
one must try to imagine how the Bible and other religious teachings would have commented on how we live today. The Bible does
have references which would lead me to the conclusion that since there is room in the Christian and Jewish faiths to allow
for forgiveness, that forgiveness of debts is also to be considered.
"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
This release from perpetual debt is called the Year of Jubilee. Leviticus 25:13.
Furthermore, the charging of interest itself was shunned. "You shall not charge interest to your brother--interest
on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest." Deuteronomy 23:19.
"If there is a poor man among your
brothers . . . do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be open-handed and freely lend him whatever
he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: ‘The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,’
so that you show ill toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will
be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God
will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hands to.” Deuteronomy 15:7-10