The United States Senate passed a law on March 10, 2005 that changes the bankruptcy laws in America. It is expected that the House of Representatives will look to pass the same bill in April, which will send it to President Bush for his signature. Since it is well known that President Bush will sign the bill into law, a new bankrupcty law is just one step away from ratification. This law makes it much harder for Americans to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. So for those of you trying to decide whether to file bankruptcy in the next few weeks, realize you may not have the same options in a couple of months time.
This bill is a pure win for the credit card companies. Since the bill was written by credit card company lawyers, you can imagine how advantageous it is to the credit card industry. It means that Americans will pay their earnings to creditors for many years to come, with little help from the U.S. government. Of course, creditors say these are bills charged up by the debtors. But since the credit card industry is one big legal trap, it amounts to the federal government helping bankers and lawyers trick average citizens out of their money. As I always say, if a person has been paying their minimum monthly payment for a few years, the creditor made a huge profit on their original loan years ago. That applies even if a debtor files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The real shame is that 50% of Chapter 7 bankruptcies happen due to medical and health issues. With the loss of jobs overseas and the subsequent loss of health insurance, many Americans are slipping into debt to try to pay their medical bills. Twenty percent of bankruptcies come from single mothers who children have deadbeat fathers. In other words, the mother filing bankruptcy is not to blame, but is the victim of an ex-husband who refuses to pay his debts to his children. The new law will leave the mother on the hook to the credit card industry.
Now is the time to do your homework when looking for debt consolidation loans and other consumer credit counseling advice. It looks like the public sector is no longer a friend of the consumer, so you have to look at the private sector to help you out of your troubles. Do your research. Choose wisely. There are ways out of your financial crisis, but one of the most used options just got undermined by the politicians in control of legislation at the moment.
You can read more about personal finance and debt issues at the Debt Consolidation blog.