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Bankruptcy helps widow maintain family farm after husband's death

Filing for bankruptcy is a valuable option for many who are struggling with mounting debt. The debt relief provided by filing for bankruptcy can make it easier for someone to deal with their debt, even if it takes a little longer than anticipated. As was the case recently case in New Jersey, it can even save the family farm.

The farm, located in Mount Olive Township, is an example of a situation that may require bankruptcy. After a husband died in 2012, his widow was left with the farm and six children. The farm has been in the husband's family since the 1800s.

After her husband died, the widow decided to pursue bankruptcy reorganization in order to keep the farm in business. Even though much of the income from the farm is currently used make the payments to maintain their bankruptcy plan, the family has been able to keep 15 of the farm's 45 acres planted.  Interestingly, the economy has helped fuel some of the farm's profits. Many people have turned back to canning foods and the family is selling their harvest at green markets throughout the area. 

While the children take care of much of the labor on the farm, the widow takes care of the paperwork and maintains a full-time job as a nursing assistant. They also try to give back to their community. The husband was involved in a project that provides food to those with low-incomes. In return, their community is raising money to help plant their other 30 acres.

With so many negative stories about the economy these days, it is nice to read a story about a family using all available resources to continue their legacy of running a farm and giving back. It is also positive to see the use of the bankruptcy process as it is intended: to provide the debt relief that New Jersey families need to help them through difficult times.

Source: Mount Olive Chronicle, "After tragedy, Hildebrant farm still standing in Budd Lake," Phil Garber, Feb. 14, 2014

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