As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

The New Bankruptcy Bill

This article was written by in Economy. 4 comments.

There’s a new bankruptcy bill that’s up for vote in the Senate. if it passes, and it probably will, filing for bankruptcy will be harder. More specifically, fewer people will be able to file under Chapter 7, where creditors will get nothing and all debt is liquidated, and instead will be forced to file under Chapter 13, which provides for a five-year maximum repayment plan.

Some people believe the bankruptcy laws have been abused and there should be tighter restrictions. Advocacy groups claim that it’s a gift to credit card companies, who stand to gain $1 billion or more.

Here is a basic list of the changes between the old law and the new bill. You can read CNN’s story for more information.

* The test for qualification for bankruptcy
* Determining what you can afford to pay back
* The right for creditors to contest your claim
* Liability for the filing lawyer

Published or updated March 10, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar jim

“Advocacy groups claim that it’s a gift to credit card companies, who stand to gain $1 billion or more.”

I think they should make a point that the $1B isn’t really a gift, it’s money that’s owed to them anyway by foolish and irresponsible spenders. Making it harder for people to run up debt and simply run out on responsibility is a good thing. Credit card companies never forced anyone to use their cards.

avatar Darren R. Sussman

I’m inclined to agree with Jim. We live in an era where debt is the norm and there is no accountability for it. You can run up huge debts because it simply doesn’t matter anymore. Sure, there are consequences, but they’re not severe enough to make most people even think twice before spending money they don’t and never will have.

avatar Luke Landes

The $1B would be in the way of fees. That’s how the companies end up with a $1B gift — it’s money the credit card companies didn’t have to pay the retailers.

avatar Ron

Let’s be a little more reasonable here.

First of all not all people who have trouble paying their debts are “foolish and irresponsible” as you imply. They may have had a medical catastrophy for a member of their family or they may have lost their job. I can think of many instances that life thows our way where one can get caught up in economic trouble.

Secondly, The banks who push credit cards on people who are bad risks are largely at fault for even offering credit to these people in the first place. This is especially true for elder retired Senior citizens who are living on fixed incomes and are facing outrageous medical costs and who do not understand the nature of a credit trap especially at 20% + interest rates. Credit cards are offered and maintained by these immoral stinking banks who do not care where their next sucker comes from. CitiBank is one of them.