The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Thursday, September 08, 2005

But Of Course It Will

New Bankruptcy Law Could Exact a Toll on Storm Victims - Los Angeles Times:

"New Bankruptcy Law Could Exact a Toll on Storm Victims. Unless changes are made, some say the overhaul due to take effect soon could make it tougher for Gulf Coast residents to recover."

WASHINGTON — After virtually every major hurricane of the last 25 years, bankruptcy filings have grown significantly faster than usual as victims sought to shake off old debts in order to rebuild their economically ruined lives.

But unless changes are made to an overhaul of the nation's bankruptcy law due to kick in next month, many of those affected by Hurricane Katrina and the resulting floods will have a substantially harder time winning court relief from loans they incurred for homes and businesses that are now gone, according to a variety of judges, lawyers and policy experts.

"Just because your house or car is somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico doesn't mean that your auto loan or mortgage went with it," said Brady C. Williamson, who was appointed by President Clinton to head a national bankruptcy commission in the mid-1990s.

UCLA professor Kenneth N. Klee said, "The new law is going to make it much more difficult for people to put their lives back together." Klee is a former Republican congressional staffer who was a chief author of the previous major bankruptcy-law change in the late 1970s.

Why should this be surprising? We already knew that most bankruptcy filings are not the results of careless people who took on too much credit card debt but people who lost everything because of a medical illness or catastrophe. That's a health insurance issue. When do the Repugnicans (sic) bring back the poor laws and debtors prisons?


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