Birmingham News – Bankruptcy Bill

When the Republican-as-they-come Birmingham News criticizes anything a Republican does, you know it must be rotten. It is.

The Birmingham News has a nice editorial in this morning’s paper about the bankruptcy bill your Congress has passed and your President is poised to sign in the next day or so. Acknowledging that no one with the ability to pay should hide behind bankruptcy to avoid paying what he or she owes, the editorial says that the bankruptcy bill is an example of lawmakers looking out for the interests of corporate America at the expense of consumers and that it will encourage credit card companies to be even more reckless in extending credit to people who can’t afford to pay it back.

According to the editorial, a recent Harvard University study found that nearly half of all bankruptcies are due to medical issues and that less than 4 percent are able to pay even a small portion of their unsecured debt.

While debtors are hurting, the big lending institutions are seeing record profits. The Democratic report said credit card companies’ profits reached $30.2 billion last year, an increase of 163 percent from eight years ago. About one-third of those profits come from the high fees card issuers charge for late payments and exceeding the credit limit. Those fees help drive families deeper into in debt.

It’s regrettable that Alabama’s two senators and seven House members [everyone except Artur Davis] all voted for this credit industry protection bill. They should be more worried about protecting consumers from credit card companies.

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