Letter to House to urge the support of S.1920, and Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act
January 27, 2004
TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
I am writing on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing over 3 million businesses of every size, sector and region, to urge you to support S. 1920, the extension of Family Farmer bankruptcy protection, along with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act included as part of that legislation.
As you know, the House approved H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 315-113 in March of 2003. However, this legislation stalled in the Senate over unrelated provisions. Therefore, I urge you to support this renewed effort to induce the Senate to take up and pass this bipartisan legislation.
This bipartisan legislation is important to protect consumers and businesses, and will help stop abuse of the bankruptcy system by wealthy debtors. Specifically, bankruptcy reform will prevent wealthy debtors from using bankruptcy to wipe out the debts that they can afford to repay, and from passing those debts on to the millions of businesses and consumers who cannot afford to pay someone else's bills.
Bankruptcy reform has repeatedly passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. This fair, balanced legislation will reward personal responsibility and restore fairness to the bankruptcy system, while protecting those who need the assistance that bankruptcy offers, such as the fresh start and protection from creditors.
- S. 1920 would close loopholes like the Homestead exception, forcing wealthy debtors who can afford to repay their debts to do so.
- The bill imposes significant new responsibilities and disclosures on lenders, and particularly credit card lenders.
The bill is fair to debtors, while it also stops the very rich from exploiting the system to discharge their debts, leaving everyone else holding the bag.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will consider including this vote in its annual "How They Voted" Guide.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce