Bankruptcy – and other legal procedures for debt settlement – have a lengthy and intriguing history around the world. There was no bankruptcy, for example, in ancient Greece. If you couldn’t pay your debts in Sparta or Athens, you and your family were pressed into debt slavery until the debt was satisfied. We’re somewhat easier on debtors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area these days, although debt can still sometimes feel like slavery. If you are besieged by overwhelming debt and you’re thinking about bankruptcy, don’t take any action before first discussing your circumstances, rights, and options with an experienced Dallas bankruptcy attorney.

Debts were written off every seven years in the Old Testament. “Sabbatical” years required the forgiveness of all debts owed by any members of the Hebrew tribes. Every forty-ninth year in the Old Testament – after seven seven-year periods – is followed by a “Year of Jubilee.” During Jubilee, forgiveness of all debts owed by tribe members as well as foreigners was required, and all debt-slaves had to be given their freedom. Under Islam, debtors are given additional time to pay off their debts, and creditors are expected to be understanding and benevolent. It was a bit different for those living in Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire, where a third bankruptcy was punished with the death penalty. Texas is slightly more lenient.

The Statute of Bankrupts of 1542 was the first English bankruptcy law. It’s the first codified law that required debtors to liquidate their belongings to pay creditors. In the 21st century, Texas allows you to keep your most important property, and bankruptcy laws give you considerable legal safeguards and rights. Of course, bankruptcy is not necessarily your only option. It’s genuinely a last resort, although for some, it may be the only realistic solution. If your debts are spiraling out of control in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, don’t wait another day. Speak about bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy as soon as possible with an experienced Dallas bankruptcy attorney.