View Poll Results: Is there a moral obligation to repay money you borrow?

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  • If you borrow money, you are morally obligated to repay it.

    110 34.48%
  • I feel no moral obligation to repay loans I've taken out

    209 65.52%
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Thread: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

  1. #741
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    OK, so it's the amounts involved. At what point does it become "immoral" to break a contract? $10,000?

    Or maybe the term - so, it's OK to break a two year contract, but not a 15 year contract. What's THAT dividing line - the midpoint - 9 years?



    I'm responsible enough to pay my bills, all of them, on time, including our mortgage about 10 years early. But what I'm missing is any kind of objective standard that will inform me in advance which contracts are or are NOT "immoral" to break.


    Please bother someone else. I don't get paid to educate people on here about basic fundamental best practices of money and life management. And I'm way too tired to explain my posts to someone who can't understand them.
    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. ~W.C. Fields

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post


    Please bother someone else. I don't get paid to educate people on here about basic fundamental best practices of money and life management. And I'm way too tired to explain my posts to someone who can't understand them.
    I don't want or need your advice on money or life management. What I asked for was an objective standard that governs the morality of breaking contracts, and you obviously don't have one.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    I don't want or need your advice on money or life management. What I asked for was an objective standard that governs the morality of breaking contracts, and you obviously don't have one.
    I can't have a cerebral discussion with someone who thinks the difference between defaulting on a loan secured by your home and defaulting on your unsecured cell phone contract is "the amounts involved". When I'm interested in educating 2nd graders on civics, I'll come back to find you. Morality has nothing to do with it.
    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. ~W.C. Fields

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    I can't have a cerebral discussion with someone who thinks the difference between defaulting on a loan secured by your home and defaulting on your unsecured cell phone contract is "the amounts involved". When I'm interested in educating 2nd graders on civics, I'll come back to find you.
    "What I asked for was an objective standard that governs the morality of breaking contracts, and you obviously don't have one."

    Morality has nothing to do with it.
    You're having a different conversation than the rest of us, then. If your point is the FINANCIAL implications of defaulting on a mortgage are fundamentally different than for a cell phone, that's obviously true, and not the point of this thread.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    "What I asked for was an objective standard that governs the morality of breaking contracts, and you obviously don't have one."



    You're having a different conversation than the rest of us, then. If your point is the FINANCIAL implications of defaulting on a mortgage are fundamentally different than for a cell phone, that's obviously true, and not the point of this thread.
    I have said repeatedly in this thread, from my very first post, that morality has nothing to do with borrowing and lending.

    If you think the difference between defaulting on a cell phone contract and your home loan is "financial", then you're having a conversation with yourself. I don't engage in ridiculous discussions with people who make such clueless posts. And if you need an explanation as to why discussing the default of a cell phone agreement and default of a loan secured by a mortgage on your home in the same breath is absurd at best, then ask someone to help you understand it.
    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. ~W.C. Fields

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    I think it's time for a recap. Let's see if I've got this right.

    Those that say it is not immoral to stick other people with your bad debt say that it's not immoral because:

    (a) banks would screw you if they could so you should screw them first.

    (b) since the banks are loaning you money that isn't really theirs, you should feel no moral obligation to repay loans.

    (c) You should do whatever profits you financially whether or not it is honest or moral because morality doesn't matter in business and that doesn't make you immoral or bad..... but business is immoral and corrupt because you think they'd act like you and do something unethical if it was profitable for them.

    This has been a very informative discussion.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    If i am following correctly, the question is whether or not you are "morally" obligated to repay debts

    Here is my take

    Sometimes.......it really depends on what we are talking about, and why you cant pay

    I have been in the finance/loan/auto business for 30+ years now

    I have seen the gamut of the bad credit people over the years.....with every excuse under the sun

    What i have taken from it all......"bad **** sometimes happens to good people"

    For instance, i helped a family reestablish their credit that had been trashed by a medical bankruptcy. One of their daughters had gotten cancer, and it had crucified their finances. It finally buried them, and they had no choice but to declare BK. They bought a fairly cheap reliable car...a civic i think, and we got the loan done for them.

    And then there are the others....the ones with 3 or 4 repo's on their report, open chapter 13's, and excuse after excuse as to why they just cant pay their bills

    For the people with true misfortune, i have no issue with them using the BK system to basically press the restart button. Everyone is entitled to a second chance.

    For the perpetual ones that dont pay attention, much less their bills, well.....how many chances are we to allow them?
    “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    I have said repeatedly in this thread, from my very first post, that morality has nothing to do with borrowing and lending.

    If you think the difference between defaulting on a cell phone contract and your home loan is "financial", then you're having a conversation with yourself. I don't engage in ridiculous discussions with people who make such clueless posts. And if you need an explanation as to why discussing the default of a cell phone agreement and default of a loan secured by a mortgage on your home in the same breath is absurd at best, then ask someone to help you understand it.
    You've spent several posts telling me why you WILL NOT articulate an objective standard for breaking contracts and why I'm stupid for asking.

    Why not just explain your standard? It's a simple question.

    My standard is fairly simple - the golden rule. I expect the lender to maximize profits according to the amoral terms of the loan contract, and my obligation is the identical standard - to maximize my own financial situation. With a personal, unsecured loan, my 'security' is my integrity, and so I will go to great lengths to repay that loan even when it's contrary to my financial interests.

    See, not so hard to do....

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    I think it's time for a recap. Let's see if I've got this right.

    Those that say it is not immoral to stick other people with your bad debt say that it's not immoral because:

    (a) banks would screw you if they could so you should screw them first.
    That's not really it at all. Banks maximize profits, period. Morality plays no role in their decision making at all. My obligation under that contract is simply the same as theirs.

    I've asked tres borrachos this - what is the objective standard you're applying to contracts? Is it immoral to break ANY contract or just loans, or just big loans? Or maybe it's immoral if the lender loses money, but OK if the collateral is sufficient to pay off the remaining balance, so the immorality is to create losses for the bank? Do I have a moral obligation to keep paying, but only until I'm no longer underwater? Etc...

    For example, let's say I lease a car for 60 months, and 22 months in, I'm drowning - can barely make ends meet. If the lease has a cancellation penalty - I turn in the car, pay a fee - is it immoral to do that? Is it only immoral if the bank LOSES money on that lease, but OK if it the amount owed on the lease is less than FMV of the car when I drop off the keys? How do I define "loss" in that deal? Etc.

  10. #750
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    That's not really it at all. Banks maximize profits, period. Morality plays no role in their decision making at all. My obligation under that contract is simply the same as theirs.

    I've asked tres borrachos this - what is the objective standard you're applying to contracts? Is it immoral to break ANY contract or just loans, or just big loans? Or maybe it's immoral if the lender loses money, but OK if the collateral is sufficient to pay off the remaining balance, so the immorality is to create losses for the bank? Do I have a moral obligation to keep paying, but only until I'm no longer underwater? Etc...

    For example, let's say I lease a car for 60 months, and 22 months in, I'm drowning - can barely make ends meet. If the lease has a cancellation penalty - I turn in the car, pay a fee - is it immoral to do that? Is it only immoral if the bank LOSES money on that lease, but OK if it the amount owed on the lease is less than FMV of the car when I drop off the keys? How do I define "loss" in that deal? Etc.
    Am I to assume that you don't know the difference between a lease and a loan? Not being financially sophisticated enough to understand that loans and leases are completely different things in all regards would explain all your confusion on this matter.

    I'll help you out, though. With a "lease", you are not borrowing money. You are paying for the use something. These contracts are written so that you can terminate your use whenever you please. If you terminate early, you pay the penalty for the early termination and it's all good. With a LOAN, you are BORROWING MONEY. There is no "option" to stop paying until the loan is complete. There are actions that the bank can take to try to limit their losses from your default but there is no "I don't want to pay back the money I owe because I owe more than my house is worth" clause in a mortgage.
    Last edited by Papa bull; 01-27-15 at 06:10 PM.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

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