NEW YORK, NY April 16, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – As Congress passed a bill that would prohibit tens of thousands of Americans from filing bankruptcy, Manhattan personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg reacted with criticism of the bill and concern for its clients and the thousands of other Americans faced with staggering medical bills.
Supporters of the bill, formally known as S. 256, claim that gamblers, deadbeat dads looking to skip out on child support payments, and binge shoppers often seek refuge in declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying their debts.
The bill’s opponents and Weitz & Luxenberg are gravely concerned that instead of helping the average American family, this bill will instead bring great harm to the economically vulnerable. In House debate, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla, claimed the bill “protects the credit industry at the expense of the consumer,” and that “it will drive more Americans deeper into financial crisis and weaken the nation’s economy and social structure.” Weitz & Luxenberg fears the bill’s impact on single working mothers, minorities, the elderly, and Americans faced with large medical bills from diseases like asbestos-related cancers and recalled drugs like Vioxx and Bextra may be devastating. The bill would remove a much needed safety net from these individuals, as well as from those who have lost their jobs or are in danger of doing so.
The bill, which President Bush is eager to sign, will take effect 180 days after it is signed, and will affect many of the 1,613,097 Americans who have filed for bankruptcy this year. Under the bill’s provisions, most individuals who would now qualify to file under Chapter 7 will in the future be required to file under Chapter 13 and work out a plan to repay their creditors.
People who are concerned about the bankruptcy bill may read the bill’s contents on Weitz & Luxenberg’s corporate website, www.weitzlux.com/bankruptcy/billpassed2005_965.html.