|Lawyer Group Criticizes New Bankruptcy Law
By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer
Wed Feb 22, 8:16 PM ET
WASHINGTON - A new law making it harder to erase debts in bankruptcy has failed to stop abuses and has stymied people who have legitimate reasons to file, a group representing bankruptcy attorneys contended Wednesday.
A report released by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys was based on an analysis of 61,335 people who have gone to credit counseling agencies, the required first step before filing bankruptcy under the law that took effect on Oct. 17.
Of the 61,335, 97 percent were unable to repay any debts and 79 percent had gotten into financial trouble because of job loss, huge medical expenses or the death of a spouse, the report said.
"Contrary to the claims of proponents of bankruptcy-law changes that they would zero in on the alleged legions of 'deadbeats,'" the new law is doing no measurable good, said Brad Botes, executive director of the bankruptcy lawyers' group. "Instead, (it has) put new hurdles in the path of people who are already flat on their back due to financial crises over which they have no control."