Consumer Payment Card News

Reform Timing

As bankruptcy reform bills are being conferenced in Congress, the majority of Americans believe, that given the uncertain economy and rising unemployment, this is not the time to make personal bankruptcy laws more restrictive. However the majority also feel that bankrupt consumers should be forced to repay a portion of their debts if they have income that exceeds reasonable living expenses. Nearly 65% of the respondents to a CardWeb.com homepage poll says this is not the time to reform bankruptcy laws. About 60% believe bankrupt consumers should be forced to pony up for some of their debts if they have a good income. More than 55% says a limit on the home equity exemption is necessary. When it comes to making damages to abortion clinics non-dischargeable under new bankruptcy laws, the country is split right down the middle. Finally, three out of four consumers believe banks will not pass on the savings realized from bankruptcy reform to consumers by means of lower rates or fees. According to the most recent data, the number of bankruptcies filed in the first three months of this year increased by 17.5% over the first three months of 2000. The number of filings during the quarter were the highest since the spring of 1998. The spike in filings may be driven in part to the pending bankruptcy reform and aggressive advertising by attorneys specializing in personal bankruptcies.

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