About Us  > Blog

Bankruptcy – the definition

by Catherine Muriel on 06/2/09

As GM declared bankruptcy yesterday much was being said about this American icon taking this step.

I recently heard on NPR a commentator talking about the derivation of the word bankruptcy. The word comes from the Latin bancus which means bench, and ruptus which means broken. A ‘bank’ originally referred to a bench. Bankers had benches so they could conduct business in markets and fairs – i.e. public places. A broken bench indicated that the bank was no longer able to do business. The Italians coined the phrase banco rotto – broken bank.

In Greece (around 1100 BC to 146 BC) if a man could not pay his bills not only did he end up having to work out his debt, but also his wife and children. This was really a form of slavery until the creditor received all the money he was owed. On the good side the debtor could not have limbs removed or his life taken, unlike regular slaves.

In America being able to set up one’s own business without Draconian reprisals was essential to encourage entrepreneurship. As a result, the concept of insolvency and debt restructuring came about to assist with remodeling the financial structure of the debtor, to enable them to protect, reorganize and continue with their business.

Apparently about 50% of bankruptcies work. We shall see what happens with GM.


Leave a Comment

Prosper moderates all comments and will approve those that are directly relevant to the post. We do not publish comments that are spam, are offensive or appear to pass you off as another person.

(required)
(required) Email will not be published.
 

Comment Policy

 

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word

One Response


NewHorizon | June 4th, 2009 at 10:31 am

“Apparently about 50% of bankruptcies work.”

That’s encouraging news!

One can only hope that Prosper borrowers contemplating bankruptcy will read this, take heart, and file.


posted in Featured,Lenders 1 comment »

Connect with us

Search

Lenders

Karate Academy Improves Student Training with New Equipment

By Prosper on 03/4/15   [ 0 ]

Posted by Bill Walker Note: This post is based on a video submitted to our $2 Billion Strong Contest. To see more videos, visit our Facebook page. Kevin Johannes, a seventh degree black belt and owner of TASK Karate Academy, borrows through Prosper Loans because it offers him the best interest rates. But, that’s not [...]

Read More

Prosper Marketplace Partnership with Western Independent Bankers Expands Credit Opportunities for Small Banks and Their Customers

By Prosper on 02/26/15   [ 0 ]

We’re excited to announce today a partnership with Western Independent Bankers — a consortium of small community banks — that will give more banks the opportunity to offer credit to their customers, and more consumers access to affordable loans. Banks are under increasing pressure to deliver attractive interest rates for all consumers, and smaller banks [...]

Read More

Prosper Marketplace Announces Acquisition of American Healthcare Lending

By Prosper on 01/27/15   [ 0 ]

Today, Prosper Marketplace is excited to announce its first-ever acquisition — American Healthcare Lending, a leading patient financing platform. This is an important step in expanding our capabilities and bringing our product into a market where we believe it can make a positive impact. Healthcare lending is a growing industry, and one that we’re excited [...]

Read More

« Older Entries

Monthly Archive


Notice: Blogs and other materials posted on or linked from this page that use the name "Prosper" generally use that name to refer to Prosper Marketplace, Inc. if published before January 31, 2013 and to refer to Prosper Funding LLC if published on or after February 1, 2013.