Revised Bankruptcy Law Slaps Poor Americans
In 2005 Congress voted 302-126 to approve a revised bankruptcy law that
strips debt-riddled Americans of a safety net that once assured families of getting a new start. The Senate approved the measure
Opponents charge that the bill, approved by lawmakers after eight years of
heavy lobbying by banks and credit card companies, protects the credit industry at the expense of the consumer.
will drive more Americans deeper into financial crisis and weaken the nation’s economy and social structure,”
said Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.
The act especially hits low-income working people,
single mothers, minorities and the elderly. The safety net also is raised nearly beyond reach for people who have lost their
jobs or face crushing medical bills.
The new law makes it almost impossible for debt-strangled
consumers to walk out of bankruptcy court debt free. The law now requires people even with meager incomes to pay credit-card
charges, medical bills and other obligations under a court-ordered bankruptcy plan.
bill also requires people in bankruptcy to pay additional costs for credit counseling.
who fought the bill, proposed up to 35 amendments in a last-ditch effort to exempt military personnel returning from Iraq
and Afghanistan, and people caught in financial identity theft, from the new provisions. The GOP leadership blocked all of
Statistics show that from 30,000 to 210,000 people, up to 20 percent
of those that dissolve their debts through bankruptcy each year, will be disqualified from escaping without paying.
that plead extreme poverty can still erase their debts after certain assets are forfeited, but it will be up to a judge. Anyone
with enough income to pay $100 a month will be forced into Chapter 13, where they fall into a repayment plan.
the conservative Christian-based Republicans for this new bill that assures banks and credit card companies that almost everybody
will be forced to pay even when caught in overwhelming debt through no fault of their own.
we slip back into the dark ages, we wonder if we won't soon see a return of debtor’s prisons and bonded enslavement
as the nation’s poor grow in ranks. The Charles Dickens novels, that pictured life in England during harsh economic
times for the masses, could easily become a picture of reality in America.
that the followers of a faith allegedly based on love for one’s fellow man turns out to be a pack of cold-hearted greed
stricken wolves whose real god is money.