Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Bankruptcy Thing

29 has been on a tear for quite some time on this one. Now, the pending legislation in Congress has brought it to the fore.

From 29's piece, here's the crux of the leglislation via AP/Forbes:
Those with insufficient assets or income could still file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which if approved by a judge erases debts entirely after certain assets are forfeited. But those with income above the state's median income who can pay at least $6,000 over five years - $100 a month - would be forced into Chapter 13, where a judge would then order a repayment plan.
Can someone please explain to me what the problem is here? Isn't this the purpose of Chapter 13...? Look, this law applies only to individuals and families who make more then the median income. It structures a way for these folks to pay back what they borrowed. Isn't that fair?

As a young married couple, Brenda and I managed to bury ourselves in credit card debt. We recognized the problem and dug our way out.

I'm sick to death of the way that our society enables, nay, encourages adults to be children. To my mind, this legislation is a very small, measured step in the right direction.

As for the "predatory lending" angle... oh puhlease. If you are old enough to get a credit card - which means that you presumably can read (got that kids... you should read the thing - all of it) a contract and sign your name to it. It's a contract... okay? If the lender does not fully disclose their penalty system, then it's null. But, they do of course. However, many people just see free money, sign their name and use the card.

We're not talking about Dickensian workhouses and treadmills here, okay. The law makes allowances for people's ability to pay. If this law encourages grown men and women to take personal responsibility for their personal decisions, it seems like a good thing.


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