Being too Legalistic Can Be Very Stressful in Bankruptcy Law

People do not always follow every tittle of the law. I suspect since we have literally thousands of laws across our land, it is impossible to follow every single law ever written. This is especially true in bankruptcy cases where bankruptcy law is as complicated as any written. Bankruptcy law is designed to help make a level playing field for both creditor and debtor, but being too legalistic can be very stressful for both parties in the bankruptcy process.

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Bankruptcy Law and Legalism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is an example of probably being too legalistic. This illustration was taken from a bankruptcy forum website and recently posted by a filing debtor. He wrote: “Just checked my credit report and for my mortgage and the status has Foreclosure proceedings started. And it looks like this has been the status since Aug 2012. I have not been served at all. Is it true that I am not officially in foreclosure unless I am served with court papers?”

This particular debtor, I learned from other postings, filed for a chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and was discharged. He included the home in the bankruptcy and did not reaffirm his debt. Now, after all the legal proceedings he had to endure through bankruptcy law, he faces what he thinks is a potential legal problem in his foreclosure process, a different kind of law than bankruptcy.

The illustration is offered to provide an example of how legalistic people can become during any legalistic process. Filing for bankruptcy protection and starting the foreclosure process are both legalistic processes. Both have rules and regulations written into laws that determine what is and is not the right way to proceed during the process.

Many laws are often written for a general sense of direction and are not necessarily designed to handle black and white detailed scenarios. Some legal experts call these gray areas within the law. People do not always follow these laws to every tittle that might appear to have been made.

In many states, a creditor trying to sue you for foreclosure must have you served foreclosure papers in person to officially start the process. It is not likely in any state that a court is going to take the time to prosecute a creditor who reports the foreclosure process has already started on a credit report unless the debtor takes the creditor before a judge to force the issue. In my opinion, a debtor taking such to court is not likely to be successful in convincing a judge to act on such a minor offense.

Such minor offenses happen all the time, and although they cause a little stress to the receiving end, the offense is not as serious as killing someone where the judicial system will immediately respond whether asked to or not. If I got a nickel for every stress someone or some event has caused me in my life, I would probably be rich right now. Most of us just have to learn to deal with the little unfair intricacies of life unless we want to deal with more stress for all the minor things that happen to us.

The minor violations of law happen on both ends of the spectrum and in my opinion sort of even out. I know a guy who dodged being served lawsuit papers in a civil matter for over a year. He successfully avoided the lawsuit because the plaintiff got tired of paying servers to chase him and lawyers to wait in the wings to begin the suit. They finally figured the potential for recovery was not worth the effort. The defendant in this case most likely violated some type of laws by hiding from being served, but will not likely ever be prosecuted for such because of the minor legalistic nature of the event.

If you have to file for bankruptcy protection, remember that the laws are made for both sides and are their to generally help you through the process. So, try to get through the process without becoming too legalistic. It will allow you to avoid a lot of extra stress you may not want.

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