This blog isn’t about politics, because while I have opinions, it doesn’t serve to alienate half of my potential clients away by expressing partisan views on subjects that don’t relate to my practice. That being said, the video in this link shows Donald Trump, in his rather unique style, expressing a view on bankruptcy that I do actually agree with.
When speaking to the subject of taking companies he ran through bankruptcy restructuring, he says “I’ve use the laws of this country to make good deals for myself.” Now, Donald Trump is an unusual candidate for President of the Unites States, given his decidedly non-political and very celebrity background. He may be one of a very few candidates to use Chapter 11 in his professional dealings, and that makes him stand out among a field of colorful political characters. But it doesn’t necessarily indicate that he is bad at business, or somehow dishonest in his career.
This stigma of bankruptcy is something that affects everyone who chooses to file. It’s not something that anyone wants to do, and it certainly isn’t on anybody’s list of fun times. But simply because the need to file bankruptcy is usually preceded by negative events, the filing of a case in the bankruptcy courts is not an indicator of lack of worth.
Bankruptcy is federal law. It is mentioned in the constitution, so it was an important part of America’s legal framework when the country was founded. The statutes that comprise the bankruptcy code set the rules by which a person (or business) can get relief from their debts, and allow themselves to restructure, get a fresh start, or simply dissolve in an orderly manner. Bankruptcy is a necessary part of the American economic system. Our country’s economy is grown by entrepreneurs taking risks and starting new ventures. Some of those ventures grow to be Google, or GE, or even Donald Trump. Others fall short. When they fall short, bankruptcy is a tool to allow for the entrepreneurs to stand up, shake themselves off (at a cost), and look to the next great idea. In short, when the pursuit of the American Dream gets derailed, bankruptcy can get you back on track.
So in this one thing, I publicly join with Donald Trump: Don’t be ashamed of having to use the laws of the country to make a better deal for yourself.