Friday, September 15, 2006

A letter to Senator Hatch

In response to the NY Bankruptcy judge's findings that above median income debtors can not provide money to charity, Senator Hatch's spokesman Peter Carr said that they would be looking into an amendment to the bankruptcy reform act, I have sent the following to Senator Hatch:

To Mr. Peter Carr and Senator Hatch regarding the finding of a NY Bankruptcy judge that above median income debtors can not propose a chapter 13 bankruptcy and allow for charitable contributions: Sen Hatch. Todd Zywicki sat in your committee and proclaimed the law needed no amendments. You stood on the floor of the Senate and claimed that after 8 years of compromise and changes and adjustments, amendments were only being offered by those that would oppose the bill in any form. Sir, the chickens have come home to roost. By almost all accounts rendered in the written opinions of bankruptcy judges faced with dealing with 'perfect' bill, it is an abortion. Initial reports are that over 97% of the people going through credit counseling have NO means to make any repayment. That is a HIGHER percentage of chapter 7 than existed prior to the BARF of 2005. Further, the argument that only a small portion of people would be affected by the 'reform' ignores the $90 rise in filing fees, the $50 cost of credit counseling and the higher attorney fees due to the substantial increase in reporting, documentation and liability issues. All increases in costs on the backs of those least likely to be able to afford them. Congrats Sen Hatch on a bill you helped shepherd for 8 years. The Trustees, judges and attorneys that have to deal with the aftermath will remember you kindly when you attempt to amend your pinnacle of bankruptcy legislation to cover your butt with those churches that rely on charitable contributions...oh wait...the impact is on so few people....why bother with an amendment....if they are above the median...they can afford to pay their bills, before giving money away.

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