Debts

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: Debts

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:40 pm

ashtanga wrote:I have to say as the original poster here i am shocked at recent posts. whats with this 'get a job' attitude??? How remarabley opinionated!

According to who, you?
ashtanga wrote:I can only gather you mumble that when walking past 'beggars' on the street too?!

No, I gave to them. Particularly to the ones who had arms amputated at the shoulder, beggers who had no eyes or have leprosy, polio. People who live in societies where there is no welfare safety-net, people who live in societies where the government does absolutely nothing to assist them following a natural disaster. In other words, people with real problems.
ashtanga wrote:Many of us are in debt not through choice, but as a result of divorce, career changes etc.
And you live in a society where you have access to state-of-the-art health care, access to clean drinking water and food. Whatever your 'problems' are, they are insubstantial given what most people in the world endure. And they are 'problems' that have manifested through your own decisions and choices.
ashtanga wrote:If we decide that we would like to make a change to a more dedicated life to the Dhamma then I would hope that we would be better recieved with a more 'compassionate' attitude than 'get a job'...!

It was actually very compassionate. The OP needs to pay off his debt before he joins a monastery. His question was a no-brainer. If he wants to access 'hard cash' to pay off his debt so as to join a monastery, then he needs to get a job - period.
Its not very 'Dhammic' to attempt to escape one's fiscal or social responsibilities to join a monastery. In fact, its why the Buddha would not receive people into the order if they had not discharged their responsibilities in lay life.
ashtanga wrote:You should be ashamed of yourselves!.

But I'm not.
ashtanga wrote:Look again at your practice!

I do constantly. Perhaps you should look at yours.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:05 am

Ben wrote: The OP needs to pay off his debt before he joins a monastery. His question was a no-brainer.


Except when the debt is too large, there may not be a real possibility of paying it off. So bankruptcy is a possible solution. If someone has, lets say, 1-10 million dollar debt (was very easy to get in US/Canada without using your own money) - s/he ain't gonna be able to pay it off even with an above average job. The interest alone will set one back.

So what then?

Do we value finances more than holy life as a Bhikkhu?


When one declares bankruptcy, there is no more debt to the creditors. So one is not indebted, and can ordain with no pangs of guilt.
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Re: Debts

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:11 am

Alex123 wrote:
Ben wrote: The OP needs to pay off his debt before he joins a monastery. His question was a no-brainer.


Except when the debt is too large, there may not be a real possibility of paying it off. So bankruptcy is a possible solution. If someone has, lets say, 1-10 million dollar debt (was very easy to get in US/Canada without using your own money) - s/he ain't gonna be able to pay it off even with an above average job. The interest alone will set one back.

So what then?


What planet are you on Alex?
I don't think any of our members are in the category of holding a $1m to $10m debt.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:13 am

If any of them have small business (especially a failing one), then it would be very likely for them to have that kind of debt. But of course, it varies.

I was giving an example. What should one do if one has that much debt? Debts above a certain amount, can't be paid off especially if we consider interest.
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Re: Debts

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:16 am

Alex123 wrote:Do we value finances more than holy life as a Bhikkhu?.

I think you've missed the point.


Alex123 wrote:When one declares bankruptcy, there is no more debt to the creditors. So one is not indebted

Really? Tell that to a creditor.
Alex123 wrote: and can ordain with no pangs of guilt.

Again, I think you've missed the point.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:20 am

Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Do we value finances more than holy life as a Bhikkhu?.

I think you've missed the point.


Exactly which point? Can you please state and explain it?

Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:When one declares bankruptcy, there is no more debt to the creditors. So one is not indebted

Really? Tell that to a creditor.


If the business failed due to global economic collapse (Fall 2008), then it is not your fault. It is one in a decade/century event over which you had no control.
Bad stuff happens, this is samsara.

Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote: and can ordain with no pangs of guilt.

Again, I think you've missed the point.


Exactly which point? Business ventures fail, often due to factors beyond one's control. Should this prevent one from ordaining?
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Re: Debts

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:31 am

Alex123 wrote:
Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Do we value finances more than holy life as a Bhikkhu?.

I think you've missed the point.


Exactly which point? Can you please state and explain it?



I have.
One discharges their mundane responsibilities before seeking ordination. Period.
It is why debtors and other people who had familial, social or military responsibilies were prevented from ordaining by the Buddha.
Discharging one's responsibilies before one seeks ordination is the moral thing to do.
And if you don't get that, or if you insist on injecting a ridiculous hypothetical situation into the discussion, then there is no point discussing the issue with you further.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:40 am

Ben wrote:Discharging one's responsibilies before one seeks ordination is the moral thing to do.


When one (or corporation) goes bankrupt the unsecured debts are written off, and one is not obliged/responsible directly to the creditors. So one could ordain, because one has no more debts. Today's rules are a bit different from the time of the Buddha, and bankrupt person doesn't have to be "in debt".
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Re: Debts

Postby grasshopper » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:51 am

I don't know where this falls on the big moral scale. Maybe it's low, maybe it's high. But the rules for ordaining discuss debt explicitly, and I don't see how bankruptcy fits.


Judging by the yardstick you are trying to imply, how much do you think Mr. Angulimala owed to the families whose loved one he killed before he ordained? Was it all payed back before he was ordained? Was it ever paid back?
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Re: Debts

Postby andre9999 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:39 am

grasshopper wrote:
I don't know where this falls on the big moral scale. Maybe it's low, maybe it's high. But the rules for ordaining discuss debt explicitly, and I don't see how bankruptcy fits.


Judging by the yardstick you are trying to imply, how much do you think Mr. Angulimala owed to the families whose loved one he killed before he ordained? Was it all payed back before he was ordained? Was it ever paid back?


You seem to have misread this, as I am not trying to imply anything. This statement says that regardless of whether this is moral or not, the monastic code states the rules for ordaining if you have debt. Choosing bankruptcy, when there is a choice, does not seem to fit.
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Re: Debts

Postby andre9999 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:47 am

Alex123 wrote:When one (or corporation) goes bankrupt the unsecured debts are written off, and one is not obliged/responsible directly to the creditors. So one could ordain, because one has no more debts. Today's rules are a bit different from the time of the Buddha, and bankrupt person doesn't have to be "in debt".


A corporation going bankrupt is irrelevant. Corporations do not ordain. The OP is not a millionaire, so your hypothetical of that is irrelevant too, even as an analogy.

We are talking about having debt, then making choices in life to not be able to fulfill that debt. I would like to go work in non-profit too, but guess why I can't? Because I have debt and a family to feed.

We're not talking about people who find themselves suddenly disabled. We're not talking about people who find themselves out of work for a year. We're talking about someone who wants to stick someone else with the bill so that they can go ordain and be moral - the irony apparently escapes some of us.
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Re: Debts

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:22 am

Reading the OP again it is clear to me that Ashtanga is not bankrupt.There are debts that seemingly will take a heck of a long time(at the very least)to pay off.While I am always happy to see people wishing to ordain,unfortunatly I don't see this idea of a voluntary bankrupcy as being the best solution.People are going to be hurt by this action,and I am sure that this is not what anyone here would like to see.
Perhaps there is some way to increase your earnings,therefore getting out of debt faster.In the mean time just keep up your practice.You don't need to ordain to attain enlightenment.
Hopefully some one might come up with some ideas about making some extra dosh.
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Re: Debts

Postby PeterB » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:29 am

As things stand i think most preceptors would see this as a running away from debts....a situation in antiticipation of which that section of the Vinaya
exists.. If so it renders much of this thread redundant........ because it aint going to happen.

The only definitive way to find out is for you, Ashtanga, to put it to the test.
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Re: Debts

Postby ashtanga » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:35 pm

Quite simply, I would be refused ordination... At least I know where I stand with this particular tradition. Pity.
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Re: Debts

Postby PeterB » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:37 pm

If you consider that kamma and punna have an effect here, then it will free you consider other options without regret.
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Re: Debts

Postby kiwi » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:53 pm

Difficult one Tony ....Is it possible to sit down with those you are in debt to and point out that the possibility of bankruptcy is on the horizon and draw up a mutual agreement of a manageable amount for you to pay of .
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:12 pm

andrer9999 wrote:This statement says that regardless of whether this is moral or not, the monastic code states the rules for ordaining if you have debt. Choosing bankruptcy, when there is a choice, does not seem to fit.


When one goes bankrupt, one gives away the business, and one's unsectured debts to the creditors are written off. So one is not in debt to the creditors.

Angulimala question is an interesting one. He has killed 999 people. Now that is a huge debt, and IMHO a much more morally sever action than business/finances gone bad (in this economy there is a valid excuse).



Ashtanga, just don't say that you have debt. At worst, maybe bankruptcy could be an option to legally write off unsectured debt. This isn't 5BC India. Rules are different, and bankruptcy writes off at least some debt.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:18 pm

andrer9999 wrote:A corporation going bankrupt is irrelevant. Corporations do not ordain.


Great. So all debt that corporation has, is "its own" debt. Not the owner's (unless there is personal guarantee) debt. So the person can ordain. Corporation is legally another entity and all questions are to it.


The OP is not a millionaire, so your hypothetical of that is irrelevant too, even as an analogy.


Then how can that person pay off debt? In the perfect world, If one is rich, then one could pay off debts and ordain. But if the person is poor, and has lots of debt - it may *never* be paid off. Interest accrual can make principle not repayable.


We're talking about someone who wants to stick someone else with the bill so that they can go ordain and be moral - the irony apparently escapes some of us.


What if a person sincerely wants to lead a holy life as a monk, but got debt that cannot be repaid? In today's economic crash, many people go bankrupt.
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Re: Debts

Postby andre9999 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:26 pm

Alex, you're speaking in all hypotheticals when it's not necessary. There is an actual situation here where the person is at the falcrum of managing the payments including interest. You don't need to make up a bunch of stories to prove a point when this is directly addressable.

So we have someone who can make the current payments with their current job and expenses, yet not effectively pay down principle. There are two options:

1. Reduce expenses and/or get a higher paying job to pay off the debt.
2. File for bankruptcy to write-off the debt and saddle the lenders with the loss.

Either of those may get you to ordination. You seem to think that forcing the debt onto someone else is okay for whatever reason, as if the debt magically disappears when we wave the magic wand.
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Re: Debts

Postby PeDr0 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:35 pm

Ben wrote:
PeDr0 wrote:Does anyone have any good, ethical ideas about how to make some HARD CASH?!

Get a job.


I have a job.

If anyone has any ideas please P.M. me. Thanks.
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