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Bankruptcy Law backfires on credit card issuers
MSN Money ^

Posted on 12/28/2005 12:43:50 AM PST by SDGOP

An unprecedented spike in filings before reform took effect in fall 2005 is chewing into lenders' bottom lines, and the subsequent lull is showing signs of being short-lived. Bankruptcy attorneys say their caseloads are starting to pick up, and credit counseling agencies -- which provide now-mandatory sessions for consumers who want to file -- say they're seeing significantly more people than they initially predicted.

All this is raising questions about whether lenders will profit as much from the new bill as they hoped.Credit card interest out of control? Find a lower rate.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. The new law contains a “means test” that was supposed to steer higher-income filers toward repayment plans. Lenders expected a rush of consumers trying to beat the bankruptcy deadline, but nothing like the surge that actually occurred. More than 500,000 bankruptcy cases were filed in the two weeks before the law took effect, compared with a normal weekly volume of 30,000 to 35,000. So far this year more than 2 million cases have been filed, 49% more than the same period last year and eclipsing all previous records.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bankruptcy; lookmanosympathy; notbreakingnews
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To: Luke Skyfreeper

To me, the key to your post is your comment that you had lived very frugally and saved money for a rainy day. Despite that, life threw you some curve balls. You tried to roll with the punches and, after exhausting everything, you finally took bankruptcy.

You led your life MUCH differently than the people in the post whose "whole lives" were described as "emergencies."

I, for one, admire you for landing on your feet after what you have been through.

I just don't think that all that many bankruptcies, however, are based on such legitimate circumstances.

221 posted on 12/28/2005 9:49:25 PM PST by wouldntbprudent
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To: redgolum

I have also been hearing that the retail sales over Christmas were very bad. Many were hoping for a surge in sales during the next week. Not a good sign.

You heard wrong. Sales were exceptionally strong. The stats are in and this holiday season was a great success for most businesses. Of course, there are a few here and there that didn't do well, but that could be because of bad management. All of the business shows on TV, such as Cavuto, Forbes on Fox, etc. have been saying how well the sales did this season. Don't know where you heard sales were bad. You must be watching too much CNN or MSNBC. Stop it.

222 posted on 12/28/2005 10:14:11 PM PST by flaglady47
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To: Xenalyte

Dude, get a grip. Feminists make women feel smart and empowered if they hold a gun to men's heads. You know about that.

But it's a ploy from the state and a conniving market to get money from men through women. The market plays them too.

223 posted on 12/28/2005 11:17:34 PM PST by JudgemAll (Condemn me, make me naked and kill me, or be silent for ever on my gun ownership and law enforcement)
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This law could be a hidden blessing in that if more people are forced to balance their books, those same people will demand government to balances it's books.

224 posted on 12/28/2005 11:33:58 PM PST by Paul C. Jesup
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To: wouldntbprudent
I hosted a seminar recently where a top DFW attorney talked about the new bankruptcy laws. Seems there are a lot of "serial filers" out there who live fabulous lives, have tons of stuff, but then consistently declare bankruptcy to avoid paying for it.

This really makes me burn, because bankruptcy is supposed to be the last possible source of help when life unravels around you, through no fault of your own.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I knew (based on the trouble I had carrying my son) that I would have to give up my high-stress, long hours job and take something part-time. My husband and I examined our finances and, after conferring with his insurance company about our medical benefits, I took a job making roughly $40K LESS (still bringing in some money, but no where near what I had been making). We used up our savings to supplement my income. As it was, I still wound up hemmoraghing in my 31st week.

The NICU bills totaled $67K. Before I made the switch to the part-time job, the insurance company told me one thing - after the bills started rolling in, they changed their tune completely (God, I wish I had taped that conversation!). My credit card went from $2K to $10K in the span of just a few days with medical bills. We busted open 2 of our 4 nest eggs to pay off the rest.

My recovery was protracted, and my daughter's health was so fragile we didn't want her in a day care situation, so I remained working part-time. Every month, like clockwork, she was back in the hospital. This went on for a year. More medical bills, not enough income, savings depleted, buying diapers with the credit card. Those were dark days, indeed, and I questioned whether we would have to bust open our two big nest eggs just to survive. Those nest eggs were "we're going to lose the house" money, the untouchable rainy day fund.

It's been three tough years, we're still paying off the debt, but we're getting by. I'm at a great job now (still part-time, just had our last baby), and our nest eggs have grown (plus we have two more small ones started). We refinanced our house and cut the life of the loan, so our equity is building much faster. Our exceptional credit rating, and our pride, is still intact.

We never considered bankruptcy, but for a long time we were just one disaster away from it.

225 posted on 12/28/2005 11:38:25 PM PST by TheWriterTX (Proud Retrosexual Wife of 12 Years)
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To: Timeout
They may say the rainy day is "medical"...but it's really a cumulative result of their poor past decisions.

Puuuuhhhlleeezzzeee. My wife became disabled after a car accident. Previously we had been putting away 10% in retirement/investments and had no credit cards bills.

Replacing her income on my own AND paying the unbelievable medical bills (copays etc) has simply been impossible.

I took a second job, we moved to a smaller home, I drive an 8 year old car. The ends still don't meet. I'll NEVER file bankruptcy but I'll bet alot of people in our situation would.

You holier than thou folks should walk in my shoes for awhile.

226 posted on 12/28/2005 11:46:30 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 31-69)
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To: Straight Vermonter

I'm sorry you took my comments personally.

If you read our discussion again, you will see that we allowed for circumstances like yours...and were very sympathetic.

Our comments were aimed at the report that implied over half of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. I'd bet the vast majority of them were not like you (i.e. admirable and responsible). Most of them were probably saddled with high debt before the "rainy day" set in.

We never implied that ALL situations fit that description. I hope good fortune comes your way to help alleviate the burden. I have all the respect in the world for someone working so hard to pay their bills. Good luck to you.

227 posted on 12/29/2005 5:08:41 AM PST by Timeout (I hate MediaCrats!)
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To: Nowhere Man
I think it is just a matter of time before we have some sort of single payer system here, if it is run right, I don't think it would be a bad idea either

You may be right. I'm beginning to hear more sympathy for the idea. Or maybe some kind of socialized system for the catastrophic expenses and private care for the rest.

228 posted on 12/29/2005 5:35:05 AM PST by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: TheWriterTX

Wow, what an inspirational story. I admire you so much.

It's one of the great ironies of most give-away programs that those who most legitimately need help often figure out a way to help themselves, as hard as that may be, while abusers actively game the system.

229 posted on 12/29/2005 6:56:31 AM PST by wouldntbprudent
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To: A Ruckus of Dogs
Got a lot of violent crime in our suburbs too (by white folks no less, oh the horror)!

Link here for story

Here's this angel's picture:

230 posted on 12/29/2005 7:09:28 AM PST by Archangelsk (Handbasket, hell. Get used to the concept.)
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To: Alberta's Child
Jordan's average life expectancy is influenced by people like the late King Hussein, who traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on numerous occasions for his medical treatment.

I didn't realize that King Hussein lived to the age of 531,872. Thanks for the clarification on this single example that influenced an entire nation's life expectancy.

231 posted on 12/29/2005 7:13:50 AM PST by Archangelsk (Handbasket, hell. Get used to the concept.)
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To: JudgemAll

You have completely lost me. What feminist advocates holding guns to men's heads?

(BTW, I'm a girl, not a dude.)

232 posted on 12/29/2005 7:19:03 AM PST by Xenalyte (Babies, before we're done here, y'all be wearin' gold-plated diapers.)
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To: Archangelsk
Don't be silly -- I was simply using that as an example because it is the one case of a prominent person I could cite from a country ranked higher than the U.S. on that list.

It's no accident that the list A.Pole showed in his post started at #6, and only included four countries among the top 20 in life expectancy. That's because these rankings are disproportionately weighted toward smaller countries where the populations are so low that they are really statistical anomalies -- like #1 Andorra (pop. 70,000), #2 Macau (450,000), #3 San Marino (29,000), #10 Guernsey (65,000), #13 Cayman Islands (44,000), #15 Gibraltar (28,000), #17 Monaco (32,000), and #18 Liechtenstein (34,000).

I also speculate that a lot of these figures from underdeveloped countries are misleading or even completely fabricated -- for a number of reasons. Jordan, for example, shows a higher life expectancy than the U.S. even though its infant mortality rate is nearly three times higher than ours. And 70% of its population is comprised of Palestinians who don't even consider themselves Jordanians anyway -- so I wonder if their statistics are included in Jordan's overall figures.

233 posted on 12/29/2005 7:44:10 AM PST by Alberta's Child (Said the night wind to the little lamb . . . "Do you see what I see?")
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To: Nowhere Man; A Ruckus of Dogs; A. Pole
Once you understand how the basic concept of insurance works, you realize why "health insurance" (along with many other forms of insurance) at its very core is a fatally flawed idea -- no matter who pays for it and how it is administered.

The basic premise of any insurance policy is the transfer of risk from one person to another (or to a group of people). If I am concerned about wrecking my car, I buy an insurance policy on the car and pay my insurance company to agree to pay the costs of repair in the event I get in an accident. Insurance companies make money by accumulating a large pool of clients, and essentially making the very good bet that the number of times they actually have to pay for repairs is very small in comparison to the total number of policies they have on their books. In other words, the risk of a single driver getting into an accident (or the cost to the individual driver) may be substantial, but the risk of more than, say, 1% of the drivers in a large group getting into an accident in any given year is actually small.

The key, of course, is that most forms of insurance "work" for society as a whole because the nature of these insurance policies is such that the frequency of claims for any individual policy holder is very low. Many property owners will insure their homes, for example, despite knowing that there is a 99% chance that they will live there for 40 or more years without filing a single claim.

Health insurance is the exact opposite, for it is the one type of insurance where everyone involved in the process (policy holders and insurance companies alike) know from Day 1 that claims are going to be filed with such boring regularity that it makes almost no sense to even call it "insurance" anymore. If you filed three or four claims every year on your auto insurance, then your insurance company would either dump you as a customer or decide that it's cheaper to buy you a car and hire a driver to get you around. But somehow we have such an entitlement-based mentality about medical insurance that we are appalled by the notion that an insurance company just might not want to do business with you.

Some other fatal flaws with medical insurance are as follows:

1. Insurance claims don't adhere to typical economic principles of supply and demand because there are three parties to every transaction, not two. This is not a serious problem with something like life insurance because there is a finality about death that makes the claims process and the aftermath much more clear, but for health and property/casualty insurance it introduces a potential flaw that often rears its ugly head. If I crash my car and file a claim, we have three parties to the transaction who operate under conditions that do not apply to a "pure" economic transaction . . . 1) I have already paid for the insurance, so I really don't care how much it costs to fix the car -- I want the best parts, best service, etc.; 2) the insurance company doesn't have to drive the car around, so it doesn't really care about the quality of the repair and is perfectly willing to accept something that is sub-standard by my standards; and 3) the body shop is dealing with two "customers" who have two different goals in mind in the transaction. This three-way dilemma also applies to medical insurance, and is why the problems you perceive in medical insurance are almost identical to the problems many states have encountered in auto insurance (Massachusetts and New Jersey are good examples of this).

2. Medical insurance is the only type of insurance that is pretty much an open-ended financial commitment on the part of the insurance company. In agreeing to pay your medical bills, an insurance company has no control over how complex medical procedures get over time, and how advanced technology becomes. So they always find themselves spending more and more money on what is "normal care" -- because the definition of "normal care" is always changing (upward, of course) and getting more expensive over time. Imagine how expensive your auto insurance would be if you drove a $10,000 sub-compact car but had the ability to have it replaced by a $200,000 Rolls Royce in the event of a major collision. That's basically the way medical insurance works.

3. All insurance carries what is called a "moral hazard," which means that people with insurance policies will tend to behave in certain ways simply because they know that the insurance is there to protect them. A person with a brand-new car is likely to be a far more careful driver if he has no collision insurance, and a person with no medical insurance of any kind (even government-funded care) is more likely to keep himself in relatively good health (I'll leave hereditary/genetic conditions aside, since they aren't relevant to this point). It is no coincidence that the incidence of almost every physical and mental pathology has risen dramatically since people have been covered by medical insurance plans of one kind or another.

234 posted on 12/29/2005 7:49:48 AM PST by Alberta's Child (Said the night wind to the little lamb . . . "Do you see what I see?")
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To: Xenalyte

Well I'm sure others will want to feel a bit guiltier than you in "not understanding" what I say and may actualy get it. It's all on the heart. If your heart is guilty about so many other things, I don't blame you.

that said, another story:
man goes for security clearance interview. man is asked if he has undue debts or relationships which would make him a security risk. man says his wife overspends. Interviewer replies that wife overspending is not considered a security risk.

Thus, as you see, feminists also hold a gun to the security clearance process. It's not a lie apparently if you hide that you are a security risk! Quite the contrary, it is quite an encouragement. In light of gay marriage, and other "civil rights" issues, you can see what it means in terms of bribing potential.

235 posted on 12/29/2005 8:25:53 AM PST by JudgemAll (Condemn me, make me naked and kill me, or be silent for ever on my gun ownership and law enforcement)
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To: JudgemAll

You're making very little sense, and I don't feel guilty at all for not being able to ferret out your meaning from your cryptic posts.

So why is all this the fault of the credit card companies and the feminists? Why not pin the blame where it belongs, on irresponsible and easily led individuals?

236 posted on 12/29/2005 8:29:19 AM PST by Xenalyte (Babies, before we're done here, y'all be wearin' gold-plated diapers.)
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To: Xenalyte

The whole thing has to do with guilt/gun for socialism (feminism is an -ism, a selective social control guilt organ working for the government). It has to do with how taxes for "social justice" are raised at the local level, through greedy courthouses who want their own welfare by finding guilty verdicts. Business want their own organized theft-rights too, just as they do, and they encourage woman and children nagging. They all work in concert toward the source, the courageous moral men and women who work and pay taxes.

It is no secret that socialism holds a gun and great guilts to our heads if we do not pay taxes nor give to "charities", lest be called a deadbeat citizen or dad ("coz they spend more suing than supposedly supporting children or others through taxes", notwithstanding it is perfectly ok for the other side to use tax money to use judicial expenses and not direct handouts in order to carry out "support" in full blown unrestrained overrepresentative conflict of interest).

Feminism is just another term for another socialist collective organized devil-marked like group. They have their sway and their guns indeed to taxpayers' heads. That said, feminism is much more powerful at the local confederate agitation level.

I suppose the Federal will one day have to take control of such funds for its own sake of the situation. Meanwhile the courts will keep using guilts localy in order to extract taxes and confessions and concessions from people working and producing, and all that will happen through the feminist guilt agenda producing incredible amounts of very real pogroms (and human rights violation in the name of such, ironicaly).

237 posted on 12/29/2005 8:43:01 AM PST by JudgemAll (Condemn me, make me naked and kill me, or be silent for ever on my gun ownership and law enforcement)
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To: connectthedots
I have little sympathy for credit card issuers. Their judgment is no better than those who do not handle credit well.

To be fair, that goes both ways. When 18 year olds get DAILY credit card applications in the mail, enticing them to sign up for every card under the sun, (like drugs) making it as easy as possible to spend. They should expect to get hammered, knowing damn well half these young people are NOT wise to this trap, and at 18 or 21 years old, are not responsible enough to handle credit cards.

In many cases the credit card dealers got what they asked for.

238 posted on 12/29/2005 8:48:49 AM PST by Jigsaw John
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To: Xenalyte

I know you don't feel guilty at all not understanding. It's what I just said. But for those that do, let them find out, and for those that understand, don't disparage them. I am one of them and there are others.

So why is all this the fault of the credit card companies and the feminists? Why not pin the blame where it belongs, on irresponsible and easily led individuals?

The guilt of thriftiness is destroyed by feminist empowerment and "grab all you can get" attitude lest girlfriends are going to see you as weak.

Feminism is guilt of "weakness" in the face of "fears" fulfilling lusts, overspending, cheating, beating, robbing etc...

Those irresponsible spenders are gays or feminists at heart, they go along such moral cowardice. And feminism has encouraged such "assertiveness" and has made guilty the thrifty and charicatured "obedient good home wife" while empowering the thugs, theives and irresponsible buyers, and especialy the feminist buyers protected by a judicial system and organized political gangs of the sort.

Credit card companies encourage people who do not feel guilty using their outrageously "easy money" aspect and making those users pressure those who produce to pay, with the concert of courts as I stated above.

239 posted on 12/29/2005 8:50:47 AM PST by JudgemAll (Condemn me, make me naked and kill me, or be silent for ever on my gun ownership and law enforcement)
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To: djf
Heck, I could probably get a card for my dog. Used to be credit was a privilege. You had to be responsible. Not any more.

Exactly. My 18 year old gets DAILY applications/enticements in the mail, nearly EVERYDAY of the year.

The credit card dealers got what they asked for.

240 posted on 12/29/2005 8:54:07 AM PST by Jigsaw John
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