If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple ofcar payments.

Earl Wilson

More than 13 million people have filed for bankruptcy relief over the last 10 years.[3] Millions more each year think about filing for bankruptcy but don't. Should you file? Maybe bankruptcy is the best way to get back on your feet and make a fresh start. But maybe another way out of debt will work better.

Think back to the days, perhaps not so long ago, when you weren't worrying about how you were going to pay your bills each month. The days when you had money left over at the end of the month for a rainy day fund, for retirement, and for your future. You can get back to that place ... with or without bankruptcy.

A Short History of Debt

From the beginning of civilization, people have owed other people. Loans have led to debts that have gone unpaid. Every culture has dealt with debtors in different ways.

In ancient Greece, a man and his entire family could be sold into slavery for unpaid debts. In ancient Rome, a person had to pledge himself, his family, and his property for a loan. If he couldn't pay it back, he became the creditor's slave and the creditor even had the right to kill him. If he had more than one creditor, the creditors could dismember the debtor's body and divide the pieces.


Ancient Roman law let creditors cut up the body of a debtor and divide him up based on the size of his debt.

In medieval England, the person who didn't pay his debts was strapped by his head ...

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