November 01, 2005

Pursuant to Executive Editor Ivan Schneider's column last month, "Broken By Katrina," which called for leniency in application of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 to hurricane victims, ICBA President and CEO Camden Fine issued the following statement:

The new bankruptcy law that takes effect today [Oct. 17, 2005] strikes the proper balance between compassion for those truly in need of a fresh start, and an attempt to curb widespread abuses in the program that have driven up the costs of credit for all consumers.

The flexibility of the new law will be tested as victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes try to put their lives back together. ICBA is confident the revised code will demonstrate that it can accommodate special circumstances and needs while making sure that those who can afford to repay a portion of their debt will be required to do so.

This new law is long overdue, will benefit all consumers in the long run and should be allowed to work.