Tighter Bankruptcy Laws Still Favor The Rich.
Reality has once again invaded Faneufy's life, and I'm here to tell you, it sucks! Vacation is over, it's back to work and the hard facts of living paycheck to paycheck are here again. I do not whine because I know many Americans who are in the same boat or worse off. At least I had the money for the Super Bowl and vacation. When you combine that with your team winning the game, establishing the first NFL dynasty in many years, getting and staying drunk for a week, eating around forty varieties of chicken wings, (I did not know there were more then about five chicken wing recipes out there), hitting the end of Mardi gras, and then somehow finding your way home safely - priceless! Ah, such is life.
One of the first things I had to deal with today concerns my girlfriend. A few years back she had some medical problems which her insurance only paid a percentage of, and in the end left her with final expenses to the tune of around $28,562. That's a lot of donut money! There are many families and individuals that have run into the same financial situation with medical expenses. Medical expense is not the same as walking into JC Penny and maxing out your credit card, then heading to Boca for a week on the VISA, and so on, and so on until you wind up in bankruptcy court. Then, in seven to ten years you get to do it all over again. Why not? Every day I open the mailbox and there are at least three credit card applications, which by the way is one of the reasons contributing to the national debt and impending bankruptcy legislation.
Medical insurance just is not what it used to be. My girlfriend has Blue Cross through work and it is I believe the best program offered, but compared to what insurance used to be, still sucks. I remember a time years ago when I used to pay around $6.20 weekly for BC/BS and the insurance covered everything along with a prescription drug plan. Nowadays, I'm paying over $300.00/month for health insurance and it almost makes me want to go to the doctor just to feel I'm getting use out of the thing, and while I'm there, get some drugs to use the prescription plan which is adequate. Unfortunately, my girlfriend just couldn't pay off the bill fast enough. The bill was referred to a collections attorney who was a complete asshole and wouldn't cut her any slack as far as working out a reasonable payment plan. He wanted something like $500.00/month at least, plus he was charging interest on the unpaid balance. I tried to talk to him and almost threw him out his eight story office window. Jail was nice, it seems that they had just reopened the floor I was on after redecorating, however the food sucked. Our little one-on-one did accomplish something though in that it cut the phone calls to the house right down. The attorney wouldn't call our apartment after his introductory flying lesson so all was not wasted. The end result of all of this is she has no choice but to file Chapter 7 which I think is her only recourse.
So, today I'm reading the news and I come across this little news piece entitled, "Tighter Bankruptcy Law Favored." Bills Making It Harder to Erase Debt Set to Clear Congress. My first reaction is to think, you know it's always something. Then I read on and I come across something within the piece that really bugged the crap out of me. I fathomed from reading the article that Congress has been trying to pass some kind of bankruptcy legislation for some years now. Twice in the last seven years, bankruptcy bills have passed both the House and Senate, only to go down in defeat, once vetoed by Clinton and another time after originally backing the bill, House Republicans voted it down after an amendment was attached to it that they didn't like. Two more bills have been reintroduced within the last week that both the House and Senate like, and the President has said he will not veto.
Lobbyists for the credit card industries want the legislation in order they say to close loopholes that make it too easy for people to wipe out their debts when they could repay some of them. Really now! These are the same idiots that stuff at least three offers a day into my friggen mail box and want me to play god damned The Price is Right, but now they seem to think they have no responsibility or blame in why a whole bunch of American consumers have overspent themselves into bankruptcy? I don't get it. Consumer advocates say that the bills would still allow some rich debtors to continue to hide wealth through homeownership while bankruptcy relief would be denied to many people with low or moderate incomes who have fallen on hard times because of illness, job loss or divorce. Credit card companies must share the blame for increased bankruptcies because they aggressively market products and inadequately disclose how interest rates and penalty fees mount up. And that's just the consumer advocates gripe with the credit card companies, because think of it. If the credit card companies are crying that they need legislative reform, then you tell me why they are still offering credit cards to just about anybody and in record numbers?
Under the current law, individuals filing under Chapter 7 can wipe out their debts if they agree to give up most of their assets, excluding in most cases their house and other essentials, like an automobile. You do not have to prove insolvency, but a court can deny you bankruptcy status if a judge thinks the law is being abused. OK, seems simple enough, but you know rich people, even so-called bankrupt rich people can hide stuff. Here comes the good part. You see, this whole legislative thing boils down to a huge case of GREED! Greed on the part of, in this case, the credit card lobbyists, and greed on the part of the rich little bastards who got themselves in trouble by god only knows how. Maybe they shouldn't have bought that $3.5 million dollar yacht down in Boca while my girlfriend is driving around in a 98 fucking Neon! Here's the good part.
It just so happens that there are a couple of states in which you, (or I should say a rich person), can buy or shall we say hide assets during bankruptcy by buying expensive houses because these states provide broad exemptions for these expensive homes. Would anyone care to fathom a guess which two states they happen to be? If you pulled the brass rings for Florida and Texas, you would be correct sir! Seems to me that there is a familiar name associated with those two states, but I just can't think of it, Hhmm. This whole debacle is sad for my girlfriend because I don't think that anyone who has ever declared bankruptcy has ever done so lightly, unless of course you're loaded, but no poor person ever has. It screws up your credit and your life for 7 - 10 years, at least. This new legislation is supposed to be voted on next week, so now instead of giving my girlfriend and I a little time to think this through and talk about it, I have to tell her to basically buck up and do it now. Thank you Richie Rich and a special thank you to the Bushs'. I don't understand why a states legislature just can't fix laws at the state level instead of screwing it up for the little people that actually have no recourse, but to file Chapter 7. Wealthy people will always make due. Living paycheck to paycheck, well that is not so easy.