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Senate Rejects Softer Bankruptcy Law


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Time is running out. If you are opposed to the BK reform bill contact your senators soon.


"Mostly along party lines, the GOP-controlled Senate voted 59-40 to reject an amendment that would have allowed older people to get special homestead exemptions to keep their homes when they file for bankruptcy. Currently, such exemptions are determined by the states.

Also rebuffed, 58-39, were two proposals focused on people whose significant medical expenses for illness force them to file for bankruptcy.

The first would have allowed people to keep at least $150,000 of the equity in their primary residence. If, in addition, the medical bills exceed 25 percent of the person's income, the second proposal would have exempted them from a new test in the legislation measuring income and assets of bankruptcy applicants to determine if debts can be discharged.

Under unlimited homestead exemptions in a half-dozen states, "fat cats who go into bankruptcy don't lose their mansions," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., author of the twin amendments. "Where is fairness in this bill?"

By another 59-40 tally, the Senate defeated a Democratic proposal to require that credit card statements show how long it would take the consumer to pay off his or her debt by making only the minimum monthly payment, and what the total interest charges would be. . . .

Supporters of the bill hope for passage before lawmakers adjourn in mid-March for the spring recess. They say they are heartened by the swift passage two weeks ago of a bill aimed at discouraging class-action lawsuits. The White House expressed support on Monday."


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