Is It Correct For Society To Permit Individuals To Discharge Debt In Bankruptcy?

In 1934, Judge Sutherland of the United States Supreme Court wrote one of the most important opinions in Supreme Court history when he outlined why Americans finding themselves facing unsurmountable debts have a right to a fresh start which naturally includes the discharge of burdensome debt. In the case of Local Loan v. Hunt, 292 U.S. 234 (1934), Judge Sutherland wrote as follows:

“One of the primary purposes of the Bankruptcy Act is to ‘relieve the honest debtor from the weight of oppressive indebtedness, and permit him to start afresh free from the obligations and responsibilities consequent upon business misfortunates.’ This purpose of the act has been again and again emphasized by the courts as being of public as well as private interest, in that it gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor who surrenders for distribution the property which he owns at the time of bankruptcy, a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, umhampered by the pressure and discouragement of pre-existing debt…

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