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Debtors' prisons no longer exist but bankruptcy remains an option

You've probably read a novel or two set in the 1800s (perhaps Dickens?) where one or more characters were tossed into debtors' prisons for being unable to satisfy their debts. Such fiction stories are typically full of tragic circumstances, such as families living in cold, dark and damp dwellings while their breadwinner husbands and fathers spend months or years behind bars simply because they couldn't earn enough income to make ends meet. Thankfully, such tales of old are far from today's reality although certain aspects may remain.

Economic crisis is nothing new and is still quite prevalent in all 50 states. In fact, you've likely faced more than one financial challenge in your life. The problem is that some financial struggles have a way of getting out of hand, and though you likely won't be locked up for your inability to pay your debts, you may indeed find yourself in urgent need of viable debt relief options.

The history of bankruptcy and its place in a modern world

Some things change and some things stay the same. In that regard, people will always have a need for accurate financial information because it can come in handy when times get tough. The following list includes interesting facts about bankruptcy and evidence of how it remains a helpful tool and you may even use this option to help you overcome a financial obstacle of your own at some point:

  • Before 1850, the doors on the last debtors' prisons in the nation closed for good.
  • Even in ancient times, those struggling to pay their debts suffered severe penalties that included incarceration. Nowadays, if you're having trouble paying a debt, you can sell property or implement other means to rectify your situation and get things back on track.
  • Your lender may seize property and assets to satisfy debt if you listed it as collateral on a loan in an action called repossession.
  • Creditors have every right to attempt to collect payment for any debt you owe, but may not harass you or use aggressive means to do so.
  • There are various types of bankruptcy. Businesses often choose this option to restructure and reorganize their finances. What type of bankruptcy you are eligible for depends on various factors, such as whether you're applying regarding personal debt or business-related debt as well as whether it is your first time filing or you have filed a similar application in the past year.

It's often best to meet financial problems head on rather than worry yourself to death over possibly losing your home or business. Unless you have extensive background in financial and economic studies and are well versed in current bankruptcy law, you may want to enlist the aid of an attorney whose practice includes these services.

With appropriate guidance and a solid plan, you may be able to turn things around sooner than you think and move forward toward a financially stable and successful future.

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