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HR 432, Restoring Bankruptcy Protection Rights To Student Loan Borrowers

Written By Julianna Benson on Sunday, February 10, 2013 | 11:44 PM

HR 432, Restoring Bankruptcy Protection Rights To Student Loan BorrowersHR 432, Restoring Bankruptcy Protection Rights To Student Loan Borrowers - Last Wednesday, HR 432, which would allow private loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, was introduced by Congressmen Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). This is the fifth time that that this type of legislation has been presented for passage.

As most of my readers are aware, I am in full favor of restoring bankruptcy protection rights to borrowers with private student loans. The same goes for federal loans, too. However, there are valid concerns about the potentially, negative consequences of a bill like this passing - this is always the case when legislation is passed. That's to say, the outcome can result in unforeseen problems. The most significant concern I have is the following: if the bill passes, Congress and higher education policymakers might pat themselves on and declare, "The problem is
solved, so there is nothing to worry about now." That is not what we want our dear Congressmen, Congresswomen, and policymakers to conclude! Far from it.

And, as I've mentioned previously, the lenders, who are culpable - just as the U.S. government is - in creating this crisis, would not be held accountable if this law were passed. Furthermore, bankruptcy is not a walk in the park. It is a difficult procedure, which would in the end hurt the borrowers (not to mention taxpayers, too).

Again, I want to be clear - bankruptcy protection rights need to be restored. In fact, they should have never been taken away in the first place. Indeed, they were taken away as a result of false claims made about scores of doctors and attorneys, with high levels of student loan debt, who purportedly rushed to bankruptcy attorneys, declared bankruptcy, and got off the hook in - if memory serves me - the late 1980s and 1990s. Based upon extensive research I have done, searching to find proof of this fact, I haven't found a shred of evidence that confirms the claim. In fact, the argument reminds me of President Reagan's problematic description of the black "welfare queen" who, so he fallaciously claimed, abused the welfare system, bought fancy cars, flashy clothing, and so forth. While there are people who do abuse the welfare system, the majority of recipients use the support to feed and clothe their families. In addition, these people, who receive a minimal amount of support from the government, are also the working poor, a class of people in the U.S. that continues to grow - unfortunately - exponentially. Furthermore, the majority of welfare recipients are not African Americans, but poor, whites who live in the South in rural areas. Mind you, whites make up the majority of Americans, but it is a important reminder of how this remark by President Reagan became part of the national conversation as an accepted truth, one of which has had negative ramifications for the welfare system and those who receive support from it. This assertion led to an aggressive dismantling of the system. Naturally, the same goes for the myth that countless doctors and attorneys recklessly declared bankruptcy after they earned their degrees.

The bill is currently under review by the House Committee on the Judiciary.

What do you think? Will it pass, and if so, will the results be positive? Why or why not?
Description: HR 432, Restoring Bankruptcy Protection Rights To Student Loan Borrowers
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Julianna Benson
ItemReviewed: HR 432, Restoring Bankruptcy Protection Rights To Student Loan Borrowers
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