The enormous devastation wrought by Katrina has prompted a push to delay implementation of the harsh new bankruptcy provisions or to exempt victims of disasters from its more burdensome provisions.
What Congress missed, or didn’t care to consider, when it enacted the 2005 bankruptcy bill, is that the lives of most bankruptcy debtors are just paler relicas of the hurricane victims. Outside the hurricane’s wake, these flattened financial lives are found one a block, rather than for blocks on end. But the sense of fear and dispair about their finances is not dissimilar.
When we remember that nine out of ten bankruptcy debtors have experienced job loss, divorce or significant illness, we’re left with the sense that these folks are also victims of things largely out of their control. Yet the “leadership” in Congress waves the banner of “personal responsibility” while marching to the tune of the credit industry.