Static: Wednesday, April 20, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Poor Get Poorer

With the House of Reps passing the Bankruptcy Bill (the same one already passed by the Senate), lending giants such as Citibank and Chase are only a Dubya signature away from the reorganization of bankruptcy laws that big banks have lobbied for so ferociously for nearly a decade. As noted in Fort Worth Weekly (“The Poverty Circus Act,” April 13, 2005), the laws will make it harder for regular folks who lose their jobs or get hit with massive medical bills to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a relatively simple process that wipes out debt in exchange for giving up your expensive valuables and allows you to keep your basic stuff and personal items. Under the new law, more people will be forced into Chapter 13, which imposes a debt payment plan for several years. Lawmakers claim the bill prevents those who can afford to pay their debts from filing Chapter 7. Still, it seems that legitimately poor people are the ones who will be whacked hardest and most unfairly. The new law says those filing for bankruptcy must pay for credit counseling, yet it ignores the shady loan practices of many credit card companies that helped perpetuate the debt. Additional legal paperwork is expected to double attorneys’ fees. Sounds like a law that screws the little guy while favoring banks, credit card companies, and attorneys. George W. Bush the bidnessman might have been forced into bankruptcy years ago if not for his daddy’s rich buddies. Maybe he’ll tap into his “compassionate conservatism” and veto the bill. Yep, and maybe he’ll don a tutu and dance to Swan Lake in the White Elephant Saloon.

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