June 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm in INFORUM, The Osakis Review, Worthington Daily Globe
“The purpose of this letter is to plead with you not to print the notice of our bankruptcy.”
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Tags: columns, Matthew Von Pinnon, Opinion 38 Comments »
I believe that the only people who read the bankruptcy are those who have nothing of importance in their own lives going on. There is nothing to be gained for the general populace in printing the misfortune/ bad choices of others. This holds true especially when times may have been difficult for society as a whole, i.e. a huge recession.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 62 31
Publication of such notices is, IMO, outdated and serves no purpose but as fodder for gossip. Given the choice between scouring back issues of the Forum and running a simple credit check, which do YOU suppose people who genuinely need financial information on others would do?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 63 21
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.
The Fargo Forum is starving for cheap content, so they aren’t about to let this go away.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 30 87
Although I rarely ever read the section to see who has declared bankrupcy, I believe they should still list them in the newspaper. I believe that the VAST majority of people who go bankrupt, do it because of bad choices. I think that our society is getting so that there are never and consequences to our actions and that everyone feels that they are Entitled to live the “High Life” and that as soon as things go bad, “Oh Well” lets just declare bankrupcy and start over. I think that a little public humilation is the least that should happen. Stop living beyond your means people!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 55 75
THe thing about “public humiliation” is the people with the so-called high life mentality generally have no shame anyway. You have to have a conscience to experince feeling shame and remorse, and it’s the good hard-working people who lose for reasons BEYOND their control who already feel drowned in shame.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 68 16
I do not agree with Shannon Mohn’s statement, that most people who file bankruptcy do so by bad choices. The way the economy is now everyone is in bad shape financially. I do not believe bankruptcies should be published, read on.
I get SS disability and did not get a raise this year, as well as all SS receivers, yet my rent went up, as did my phone bill, gas, groceries and about everything else. I am paying almost 30% of my take home pay just for my prescriptions. I had to close out my savings account of a whopping $500,I had just for emergency’s, just to pay off my prescription bills and at 62 years of age; I had 56 dollars in my checking account a week before I received my next check. $56 dollars was all the money I had in the world. I have never been so broke. However, I survive by eating only one or two meals a day and I still give some to my church every Sunday.I did not file bankruptcy, however, if I did, I surly would not want my name in the newspaper, this would be a personal and emotional issue for me to handle alone.
I do not spend my money foolishly. I drive a 17 year old car, do not have a credit card so I do not buy anything unless I need it and can afford it. However, with all prices and expenses going up, I never get ahead and keep falling deeper in the hole. I was told that when one got older one has less worries, I guess not. I had a 401K but had to live on that for over a year until I received my Social Security Disability. And no matter how broke one is, it seems like the government has it calculated that you just make a little more than what you need to qualify for assistance. I have worked for 42 years after I got out of the Army, paid all my taxes on time and was a responsible and productive citizen. The only problem I had is I never made a living wage, where I could save for my elder years. In 42 years of hard work, I never made over $10 an hour. I go to the VA for my health care, and I pay $8 for a prescription, however, I am taking 27 different medications a day, which adds up in a hurry. So why publish bankruptcies in the paper, is is like rubbing salt in ones wounds. No one benefits no one really cares except for the one who sees his own name in the paper and in one case, as Mr. Von Pinnon stated, took their own life. I believe the Forum should show some compassion and stop publishing bankruptcies. Maybe put in a good human interest story of something good happening in the world instead,and put a smile on peoples faces.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 83 24
Hot debate. What do you think? 26 25
Exactly. The people who read sections like the bankruptcy section gain a sense of pride and self satisfaction, knowing that others are suffering. To them, it feels like a nice little pat on the back. When others are doing poorly, one does not have to do so well to be superior.
Like or Dislike: 1 4
Absolutely not, why would the FORUM think this is the publics need to know. I know people who have filed bankruptcy and one day at the office knowing they published them on Wednesdays I removed that section of the newspaper from around the building so as not to embarass the couple as I observed another employee who was subject to gossip/innuendo and riducule from fellow employees when their name appeared in the newspaper.
Very very rarely if ever does the average Joe become a creditor to someone who files bankruptcy as when the bankruptcy petition is filed with the court all the creditors are notified by the bankruptcy court and in my opinion this is not the publics business. Why doesn’t the paper publish the names of farmers who have had loans written off by the federal government and still got to keep the tractor they bought with public dollars (yes this has happened – I know the farmer personally and they did not curtail their spending after we bailed them out). One would think the farmers name would be more newsworthy as they got free taxpaper dollars.
NO, NO, NO
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 63 29
Nothing like liberal censorship!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 2 18
At one time this type of information was published as a way to advise and warn the business community of a person with a bad debt record. In todays electronic world and credit records and scores this type of information is accessed faster by the uses of the internet. There is no reason, other than promoting gossip, for publication of names.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 66 14
Yes, the newspaper should print bankruptcy filings. Bankruptcy is a matter of public record. Printing the names gives potential debtees the opportunity to exercise their rights under the law. Bankruptcy is a business decision that should be dealt with professionally and with a degree of maturity. There are many reasons people file for bankruptcy protection, just as there are for businesses. Everyone has misfortune in their lives, much of it beyone their control or foresight. On the other hand, people do make bad decisions or fail to meet their obligations. Nevertheless, the public has a right to know that someone is publicly stating they cannot meet their financial obligations. If someone has to file for bankruptcy protection, having their name in the paper is the least of their worries.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 41 53
Didn’t I read in the article that somneone killed themself after pleading that his name not be published (in the editor’s past experience?) That situation would haunt me forever if I had to have been the person to deny that request. No need to humiliate people for their misfortune. Stop publishing bankrupcies.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 25
I don’t know how good of an idea it is to put that kind of thing in the paper… I know its a matter of public record but still. Sometimes we all fall in a rut and at the most desperate point, have no other choice.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 17
The question, is there value in knowing? Personally, no. It seems to me that publishing these records holds little value to the general public, particularly since creditors are more likely not in the Forum’s reading area in today’s global economy. With the advent of the internet, people can find the information they need or pay for services to do it for them, tailored to their specific needs. Furthermore, printing this public record as opposed to other public records – such as city employee wages, voter registrations, etc. – seems to be cherry picking which public records to publish. I’m not a fan of the “if you do this, why aren’t you consistent and do it with all of the same category” type arguments, but if part of the argument is that the paper is providing a public service by publishing these records, it doesn’t seem to hold water. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it has to be disseminated, particularly in the case of bankruptcy. What good is served by it? People will continue to go bankrupt. Consider this – more than half of bankruptcies are medically related for people who have health insurance. Why add to their issues?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 18
Harold, you said “Nevertheless, the public has a right to know that someone is publicly stating they cannot meet their financial obligations.” Do they? Why do they have such a right? Why are they entitled to know that information? To what benefit will this information bring a person who reads it in the newspaper? Will they choose not to hire that person as a contractor? Will they not patronize that person’s bar or restaurant? Should we have that person be obligated to stand in front of the city hall wearing a sandwich board stating the debtors they’re stiffing by filing bankruptcy? Where does the public humiliation end? Maybe we should start posting in newspapers the names of those who file for welfare or assistance, so we can be sure to know who those dirtbags are as well…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 22
Personal feelings should not enter into it. The reason for publishing the names is simple: to give all creditors a chance at petitioning the court. I understand people feel embarrassed. However, we need to remove the stigma from bankruptcy. It is a finanical/business decision, nothing more. It does not necessarily reflect on one’s character. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has misfortune in their lives. Instead of crying about bankruptcy, we should try to prevent it from happening in the first place. Our society makes credit too easy to get, and mandatory if you are to be “normal.” Credit/loan agreements are too one-sided, and most people don’t know what they are getting into. Consumers need to be more knowledgable and responsible, and lending institutions need to be less predatory.
Hot debate. What do you think? 24 22
So the creditors are perusing the local newspapers searching for their debtors in bankruptcy section? I don’t believe that for a second. There has to be better reporting available for those lenders than stumbling upon a notice in a newspaper.
Hot debate. What do you think? 26 16
Jack, The public has a right to know because the LAW mandates this. You can not file for bankruptcy without it being announced to the public first in case someone has a financial stake against you. it is their opportunity to collect or arrange collection before the bankruptcy or to be named in the settlement. I’m sure we would all like it not to be in the paper but thats better than the 6 oclock news or the radio or flyers on everyones door. The only people looking over these announcements are business owners and people with too much time on their hands. its not meant to embarrass people, its actually the least embarrassing way to meet the requirements of the law. I have seen some papers that publish once a week and they would use the entire page for this, the print wasnt small either. and Like Harold stated, good people file for bankruptcy all the time, it isnt always a measure of your budgeting ability, sometimes its an accident that you have to deal with or a business doesnt succeed and you need to get help. anyone who looks at the bankruptcy listing and develops a low opinion of those listed is showing their true intelligence or lack thereof. have a nice day
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 13
Grand Forks G, I clicked on “Like” for your last comment. I do understand the law, and the rights of those creditors to seek legal recourse for their losses and/or to appropriately apply the “uncollectable debt” tag to those losses, as well as their desire to find reasonable notification for the filing. Thanks for your response. I hope you didn’t find my comment objectable. I do agree with most of your opinion.
Like or Dislike: 9 16
I think people that has a snowmobile, yacht, motorcycle, 2-80 inch TV, drink and smoke, and gambles on a average income deserves to have their name in the paper, why shouldn’t other people have the right to know if they are doing business with people who show no financial responsibility , we are too soon to protect the irresponsible people these days and knock the people who are successful. (sounds like someone I know in Washington)I know there are those that start a business and runs into bad times, I don’t have a problem with that, I admire those that take risks like that.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 23
Gary, your scenario is bunk and completely fictitious. That isn’t how people end up filing bankruptcy. Who told you that?
Hot debate. What do you think? 15 16
We pay for these bankruptcies. I like to see where my money is going.
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 24
So you are one of the people browsing the bankruptcy notices to look for people you know? That’s classy.
So what do you do with that information? I want to know.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 13 26
Don’t we pay for welfare and medical assistance too? By your logic, shouldn’t we also be notified when someone applies for welfare that the taxpayers fund?
Hot debate. What do you think? 24 14
Jack, you are telling me they file bankruptcy because they have to much money?
Your have got to be kidding me? There are 4 or 5 types of bankruptcy claims a person can make. Please explain, you must have a different dictionary than I do.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 19
I’m telling you that your two 80″ TVs, boat, motorcycle, drinking and gambling the money away and then filing bankruptcy scenario is a crock. That’s all. Those aren’t the people filing bankruptcy.
Another point would be this:
When you file bankruptcy, you notify all your creditors, in writing, of your filing. They don’t need to check the newspaper to see if you did. They get a legal certified letter sent right to their door.
Like or Dislike: 16 12
What do they do when they can’t pay for all of this or buy food, say I’m sorry then are forgiven, your scenario Jack is incorrect not mine.. These are exactly just one group of people who are filing bankruptcy. You can’t deny that.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 18
There are people who file for bankruptcy do to their irresponsibility, but you example is pretty far fetched, Gary…a yacht? Really? The problem I have with your argument is that you’re jumping to the least common denominator and forcing all people that file for bankruptcy, who are usually doing so because of situations beyond their control, to suffer the same fate as the few bad apples in the minority. I would rather be right 95% of the time by not publishing notices and wrong 5% of the time by not teaching those “nerdowells” a lesson.
That being said, I believe it is the law that bankruptcy notices need to be published. That doesn’t mean the law isn’t antiquated and should be changed. We are so connected now that it shouldn’t be an issue to find out who the filer owes money to and notify those lenders individually. People don’t loan out money on a handshake anymore, and most creditors report to the credit reporting institutions. Also, this article illustrates how many filers have one thing left, their dignity. I don’t think anyone has the right to take that away from them, no matter how much money they are owed.
Like or Dislike: 12 3
It’s all about shaming individuals and their families. We should consider including: names of high school dropouts, cause of deaths (especially drug-related), known homosexuals, the morbidly obese (with pictures), and people that don’t vote.
Like or Dislike: 13 14
Ok a boat or canoe. You know as well as I do people like this will be filing bankruptcy soon, I can understand a business going broke because of down swings in the economy, you cannot sit there and tell me that way over half of the people in this country are not overspending on items that could wait until they have the money, there is no way you can tell me that most people have at least 1 credit card that is maxed if not 2, and will be filing in the near future. Oh what a pity we would get shamed in this country if we have it coming.
Like or Dislike: 5 14
Isn’t their punishment being broke, being harrassed by rude debt collectors for months or years (often dozens of times daily), not having credit to buy large items, etc?
Are you saying they deserve a punishment for filing, and that punishment is public humiliation on top of it all? They have it coming even?
I think you need just a tad bit of compassion in your approach on this one to realize that the people filing bankruptcy aren’t necessarily people who buy bigscreen TVs on their Visa and refuse to pay for them later. Yes, some people overspend and get over-extended. But the flamboyant, luxurious Denny Hecker-style bankruptcies are by far the exception, not the rule, Gary.
And again, if you want to humiliate people who can’t pay their bills, why aren’t we humiliating those families taking advantage of public assistance?
By your logic, isn’t that indicative of their inability to support themselves due to their own irresponsibility?
Like or Dislike: 16 9
According to a study by Harvard, 60+% of personal bankruptcies are a result of medical bills.
Also, according to Experian, only 14% of Americans use 50% or more of their available credit on their credit card(Source: http://www.creditcards.com). I will grant you that just because your credit card isn’t maxed out doesn’t mean you aren’t over extended, but it does show that your arguments are based on flawed assumptions and not data. The people you are talking about are in the minority of those who are filing.
Again, I would rather be correct the majority of the time, even if that means we won’t shame all the scallywags you so desperately want to teach a lesson.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 5
If you file for bankruptcy because of medical bills, the people that know you probably already know you have had medical problems and won’t say anything at all and be compassionate about it. Now if you file for bankruptcy and the people that know you also know that you don’t have any medical problems and like to spend money, well that’s a whole different story. Let the gossip begin, because frankly, you deserve it.
Like or Dislike: 10 14
There are people who don’t broadcast their medical problems to everyone that knows them. Guess they’re set for a good gossiping as well. It saddens me that you endorse shaming when you can’t say for sure what caused a bankruptcy.
Like or Dislike: 10 4
When the forum goes bankrupt will it publish it’s own filing?
Like or Dislike: 11 5
Now me and da boyz get togedder wit a few da ole ladies over a bottle la beer and some coffee at da Portlan Junction bar and vee read da deevorces and da bankrupcies and da comics. Den we sit round and talk about dose peeple. Wad udder noose is der fur us to tawk bout. Da ladees, dey say a lot of “oh my’s” and “uffdas”. Wen we giggle bout da deevorces da ladies sometimes slaps us a bit. Most of us are yust lookin to see if any of da inlaws are in der so we can brag a little bit at the next family gatherin. But if my name has to go in der, I don’t like it.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 3 14
Hey, just pay your debts and you won’t get your name in the paper. If it was up to me, bankruptcy would be outlawed. I hope the Forum keeps putting the names in the paper. Maybe it will shame a few people into doing the right thing and paying.
Like or Dislike: 3 9
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