Some Reflections on the Law of Bankruptcy

Letter from 1775 proves bankruptcy is as AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE!

Check out the article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled, “Some Reflections on the Law Of Bankruptcy.” Read the article below or this article and more at

A year before the Declaration of Independence, the ability to file a bankruptcy case and get a fresh start was prized in America. This letter published in Connecticut, which enacted a bankruptcy law before the American Revolution, written in 1775, proves that.;view=fulltext

Among the pearls of wisdom in the letter, which hold true today, there is a common theme: “such a law would be beneficial to the publick, and analogous to reason and our holy religion” In other words, the bankruptcy laws of the United States, allowed by the U.S. Constitution Article I Section 8 that Congress has enacted, are BENEFICIAL, REASONABLE, AND SIMILAR TO HOLY RELIGION!

The letter starts out:

I shall consider this Act in the

  • FIRST PLACE, As beneficial to the Publick,
  • SECONDLY, Serviceable in general to the Debtor.
  • THIRDLY, In general, no Disservice to the Creditor.
  • FOURTHLY, Agreeable to Reason, and the Genius of our holy Religion.

Other colonies, such as Virginia, were also enacting their own bankruptcy laws. When the U.S. Constitution was enacted in 1787, the power to make a nationwide bankruptcy law was given to Congress. That is why bankruptcy is a Federal statute today, available in every state and U.S. Territory.

The letter points out the evils of not having a fresh start, debtors’ prisons they had in England, advantages to business with a good bankruptcy law, and quotes the Bible, which favors and commands the forgiveness of debt in many places:

of thy Brethren, &c. thou shalt not harden thine Heart, nor shut thy Hand from thy poor Brother;

but thou shalt open thine Hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his Need, in that which he wanteth:

If thy Brother be waxen poor, &c. then thou shalt relieve him, &c. that he may live.

If, says JOB, I have seen any perish for Want of Cloathing, or any Poor without Covering; if his Loins have not blessed me, &c. then let mine Arm fall from my Shoulder-blade, and mine Arm be broken from the Bone.

Whoso hath this World’s Good, and seeth his Brother have Need, and shutteth up his Bowels of Compassion from him, how dwelleth the Love of God in him!

My little Children, let us not love in Word, neither in Tongue, but in Deed and in Truth.

When we turn over the Pages of the sacred Volume, wrote from the Mouth of our Divine Master, and there observe the sublime Sentiments of Benevolence, Compassion, Forbearance, Forgiveness of Injuries, and Enemies, &c. enforced by the most powerful Arguments drawn from Life and Death, and the same exhibited in Perfection in his own glorious Person.

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Author: Peter Francis Geraci, Bankruptcy Attorney and Financial Expert

Founding member of Geraci Law L.L.C., a multi-state consumer bankruptcy law firm with over 70 attorneys. One of the largest and oldest consumer bankruptcy law practices in the country. Founding member of Geraci, Arreola, and Hernandez, a personal injury law firm with landmark personal injury and medical malpractice rulings. CEO of Professional Financial Guidance L.L.C. and PFG Credit Counseling, Inc., online providers of bankruptcy debtor education and credit counseling.

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