America's pockets are being picked by the credit card industry and Congress is driving the get away car!
Please contact your Representative today and urge a vote against H.R 685, the bankruptcy bill that is a boon to credit card companies and a disaster for individuals and families facing economic and health care crises.
The bill, already passed by the Senate, will come to the House floor this week and will be railroaded through and gleefully signed by the President unless we speak up. Take action NOW.
Every year, some 1.6 million Americans file for personal bankruptcy protection. The process, which in many respects mirrors corporate bankruptcy, allows them to come up with a creditor-reviewed and court-approved plan to write off some of their debts, pay off others, and reorganize their personal finances so they can make a fresh start.
For almost a decade, the credit card industry has been promoting bankruptcy reform (sic) that will neither prevent bankruptcy nor protect the consumer. Rather, the industry that passes out 2 billion solicitations for credit cards to people ? including children and animals ? like candy now wants to insure that it gets paid first before other debts are partially paid, such as child support. They have perpetrated a smear campaign against people filing for bankruptcy, accusing them of cheating or being lazy money managers.
The real truth is that most of the people filing for bankruptcy are in economic straits due to illness and large medical bills. Many of these people are middle class but have lost their job and health insurance due to illness.
NOW Action Vice President Olga Vives says, "The federal bankruptcy bill is a gift to the U.S credit card industry at the expense of women and their families. Unless we defeat this bill, Congress will simply become the policy arm of Visa and Mastercard ? who will soon want their logos on the Capitol Dome for all the money they have spent on Congress."
Women are the fastest growing group of bankruptcy filers due to lower lifetime incomes (caused in part by the wage gap and caregiving responsibilities), divorce and lack of child support, escaping domestic violence and lack of health insurance coverage.
More than one out of every six mothers will be bankrupt by the end of the decade, yet these millions of women now face a possible law which will eliminate their ability to start over. For parents who are owed child support, this bill will remove the existing payment priority in favor of past dues support and would put child support and alimony on equal footing with all other debts -- and when the mother owed support has to compete head-to-head with the credit card collection agencies . . . well, you know who will end up with the dough. It won't be the kids.
Take action NOW — write to your representative.
- NOW's letter to the Senate opposing the bankruptcy bill -- in PDF format.
- Ariana Huffington referred to the bill as "?so hostile to ordinary American families that it could only have come about in a place as corrupt, cynical and unmoored from reality as Washington, D.C."
- Paul Krugman column on the bankruptcy bill.
- Editorial by The Nation, Democrats: MIA
- "What's wrong with the Bankruptcy Bill?" - extensive information from Demos, a research/advocacy group.
Take action NOW!