Fear and loathing of bankruptcy in Las Vegas: 3 interesting things to know about bankruptcy

Fear and loathing of bankruptcy in Las Vegas is probably a healthy reaction if you don’t know much about the topic.  But while bankruptcy is undoubtedly a serious matter, there is not as much to fear and loathe about the process as you may think.

In fact, there are actually some interesting things about bankruptcy that might make it feel like a less intimidating process or more like what it is:  a legal process intended to help Las Vegas residents and other Americans manage debts that are beyond their control.  So without further ado, here are 3 interesting things about bankruptcy for you to know.

1.  Where does the term “bankruptcy” (which sounds so harsh and awful) even come from? The Italian word “banco rotto” is the origin of modern day bankruptcy, and it means broken bench.  Back in the day in Italy, banking business was done outside in a market, and each “bank” had its own bench where business was conducted.  If a bank was unable to meet its financial obligations for some reason, then the bench was broken as a symbol to inform others not to do business with that bank.

2.  Most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are able to keep most or all of their assets.  There’s a perception that bankruptcy means you lose everything.  But the reality is often very different.  Being bankrupt might mean you’ve lost everything.  But the bankruptcy process is actually intended to help you stay afloat.  Think about it this way:  You’re worth more to the community (and to creditors) as a functioning, income-earning member.

4.  Credit cards were originally intended as a convenience rather than a profitable form of lending.  Retail stores offered them to their wealthier clients (i.e., the ones who could afford to pay their debts) to make shopping easier.

While the origins of credit card lending may sound quaint, the reality is that American society has had a shift in debt culture.  It’s become acceptable–even encouraged–to incur debt for shopping and other every day life purposes.  However, given economic uncertainties and skyrocketing healthcare costs, most Las Vegas residents and other Americans recognize that they’re always one emergency or job loss away from serious debt problems.

That’s why we’re fortunate to have the safety net of the bankruptcy process in our society.  So while it does need to be approached seriously, recognize that bankruptcy is here to help you and not to scare you.

Please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger bankruptcy attorney with any questions or for a free initial consultation by calling us at 702-880-5554.

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