The word bankruptcy tends to cause feelings of panic and unease when, in fact, bankruptcy is intended to help people in need. Bankruptcy laws were enacted to protect peoples rights and property and to provide a fair way for them to get back on their feet again financially. There are numerous causes of financial difficulties, and todays economy has contributed to the problem. Home mortgage rates are rising and, in response to rising defaults, government investigators are questioning the sales and lending practices of many financiers. At the same time, rising healthcare costs and falling medical insurance coverage have caused additional financial problems, as have high credit card interest rates and exorbitant gas prices.