Tougher Bankruptcy Laws Take Effect October 2005
by: James Dimmitt
In just a few short weeks, President Bush’s Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act will take effect. In a nutshell, the new law, which goes into effect on October 17, 2005, makes it more difficult to cancel your debts under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection. Instead, consumers will find themselves having to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection and paying back their creditors over a five year period.
Here’s a look into some of the major changes that will affect consumers choosing to file for bankruptcy after the new law goes into effect –
Qualifying – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
To be able to qualify for protection under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consumers will have to face a means test. The means test determines if your household falls above or below the median income in the state where you reside. Those whose total is greater than the state median income will not qualify to cancel debts under Chapter 7 protection and will alternately have to file under Chapter 13 and pay back your creditors.
The major intent of bankruptcy reform is to require people, who can afford to make some payments towards their debt, to make these payments, while still affording them the right to have the rest of their debt erased.
The amount you have to pay back under Chapter 13 protection will be greater because instead of a 3-year pay back period, that time frame is now extended to five years – to ensure your creditors get paid.
Anyone filing for bankruptcy under the new law will be required to go through mandatory credit counseling. Be careful before choosing a credit counselor as this field is filled with people looking to line their pockets while emptying yours.
To find a trustworthy counse...