by John G. Merna
Filing Bankruptcy In Richmond
I was looking at the bankruptcy filings in the Richmond, Virginia area the other day when I notice in my Google search results a list of bankruptcy filings from January 17, 1872. I clicked on it out of curiosity. The link was a clipping from The Richmond Daily Whig of Richmond, Virginia listed the “latest” bankruptcy filings on that single day. There were 10 individuals from surrounding counties listed. Ten. Now I don’t know about you but that seems like a lot of people in one day availing themselves of bankruptcy in Richmond, Virginia.
These days, hundreds of cases are filed each month in Richmond. The Richmond Division of the Eastern District of Virginia covers a couple of dozen counties from the Tidewater to the Piedmont, from Fredericksburg to the North Carolina line.
As one of the busiest bankruptcy courts in Virginia, Richmond has a long history of bankruptcy going back to the mid-1800’s.
The reason I find this tidbit of information interesting is because it validates several things which done just apply to Richmond. The first is that taking financial risk is as much a part of the American experience as apple pie and baseball. Great figures like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln (I know. A Northerner.) and Mark Twain all were bankrupt at some point in their lives. All were great men, great humanitarians and great Americans before, after and even during their financial distress.
Whether you struggled a century ago or you struggle financially today. The lesson to learn is that financial struggle is part of the American history and dream. And with financial struggles comes setback. Setbacks are not failure unless you allow them to be. Lincoln went on to lead a nation through the greatest crisis of his time.
So whether you live in Richmond, Virginia or the Virginia Beach, keep your perspective when faced with bankruptcy. You have been in good company.
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