Friday, October 07, 2005

Bankruptcy rule changes - an illustrative example

This story from the Detroit Free Press is a fine illustration of why bankruptcy reform is needed. This passage show why people are making last minute filings to avoid the new rules:

Short has more than $20,000 in credit card and other debt. She has a $700-a-month payment on a 2004 Cadillac Escalade. "I just can't do it on my income," she said.
She once worked as a blackjack dealer at a casino, but she left that job when her grandmother got sick. She does some child care, but is looking for a better-paying job.
"It's hard to find a job. I'm looking, though, really hard." Short has about $38,000 a year in income, including Social Security and a pension. Her husband was a Detroit police officer who was shot and killed while off-duty in 1994. Benjamin Short, 29, an undercover narcotics officer and a seven-year employee of the department, was gunned down in a lounge, caught in the cross fire during an argument of which he was not a part.
How did LaVita Short come up with the $600 needed up front for an attorney?
"I'm not paying my truck note -- I'm desperate," she said.
Short said she already has faced a foreclosure on her Southfield home, where she couldn't afford the $1,600-a-month mortgage payment.

Well there is not much sympathy from me on this. I understand the bad luck in her life, but c'mon - if you can't afford the mortgage - you go out and get the Escalade!?!!?! I have no symapthy for GMAC for making such a stupid loan. More of this is going to happen, but I think that the rule changes, that will affix some degree on individuals for the poor credit decisions they make, are really needed.

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