The Credit Game
The Credit game just got a whole lot more dangerous. Already Credit Card companies are able to base your interest rate based on payment histories on other accounts you have. The reasoning being that if one slow pays or no pays on one account then you are more likely to slow or no pay on their account. Now congress, with the help of 18 Democrats, passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 which does neither. Can't say I don't understand why 18 Democrats would vote for this act but they found themselves in a little pickle: Would you want to be running a re-election campaign against well funded and well organized Republicans and an advertisement shows up claiming that Joe or Jane Democrat voted against the Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
So what does this "Consumer Protection Act" do? Arianna Huffington summarises it for us in an article entitled Open Fire On U.S. Consumers:
So what does the bill do? It makes it harder for average people to file for bankruptcy protection; it makes it easier for landlords to evict a bankrupt tenant; it endangers child support payments by giving a wider array of creditors a shot at post-bankruptcy income; it allows millionaires to shield an unlimited amount of value in homes and asset protection trusts; it makes it more difficult for small businesses to reorganize, while opening new loopholes for the Enrons of the world; it allows creditors to provide misleading information; and it does nothing to reign in lending abuses that frequently turn manageable debt into unmanageable crises. Even in failure, ordinary Americans do not get a level playing field.
So black folks, who are clustered in the low end of the middle class, the very portion that is most vulnerable to these things (the poor already get "stuck" by the credit game), are going to have to be more wise in their handling of money. What is more problematic for us is:
Indeed, a recent study by Harvard University found that half of last year's 1.6 million bankruptcies were the result of crushing medical bills. Put another way: Every 30 seconds, someone in this country files for bankruptcy in the wake of a serious illness. How's that for a shocking stat? Here's another: Three-quarters of the so-called medically bankrupt had health insurance. It just wasn't enough to cover the dramatic rise in health-care costs.
Of course we know that black folks suffer disproportionatly from certain medical issues, some of which are self -inflicted (Soul Food). Thus it will be black folks who suffer the most from these "consumer protection" rules. Of course there are also millions of white folks who will also suffer from these new "protections" but seeing as how they put these fools in office in contradiction to thier own personal interests....