September 08, 2005

Meaningful aid for Katrina survivors.

Yes, we suppose that the US$ 2000 debit cards that the feds are giving to Katrina survivors will be helpful, but those cards don't help protect a person who's lost their job and home from creditors who may not care that the cause of the financial problems was Hurricane Katrina.

To help provide this protection, US senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin plans to introduce a bill exempting Katrina survivors from the strict new bankrupty law that goes into effect next month. Instead, the current bankruptcy rules would apply to them until October 2006. According to Feingold, his bill will ensure that the new law 'does not compound the hardship for thousands of hardworking Americans who simply will not be able to make ends meet as a result of this disaster.'

The bill also would make the following changes for victims of all natural disasters, not just Katrina:

  • Exempt payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or relief agencies from the definition of income for purpose of bankruptcy eligibility;

  • Exempt natural disaster victims from the provisions of the new law that make it easier for landlords to evict tenants who are in bankruptcy than the current law allows;

  • Exempt natural disaster victims from the new law?s stricter paperwork and documentation requirements.

Of course, it's not going to be easy for Feingold to get his bill through the Republican-controlled Congress. The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee has already said that he doesn't think any changes to the new bankruptcy law are needed in order to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Via Appleton-Fox Cities (WI) Post-Crescent.

Posted by Magpie at September 8, 2005 11:41 AM | US News | Technorati links |