BANKRUPTCY ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT OF 2003 -- (House of Representatives - January 28, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Sessions). Pursuant to House Resolution 503 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the Senate bill, S. 1920.
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to rise in support of the amendment and to commend the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary for offering this important amendment.
As we have noted, last March this body did pass important bankruptcy reform; and that is very important to my folks in Tennessee, but unfortunately it has languished over on the Senate side. I have heard from credit unions and banks in Tennessee. Their message is very clear. Bankruptcy is all too often used as the first resort instead of the last resort, and this makes it increasingly difficult for them to operate in a State where small business is our major employer. As the number of bankruptcy filings continues to rise, bankruptcy losses have a heavier impact upon those credit union members and on the banks who are fiscally responsible. What we have seen since 1998 when bankruptcies topped 1 million in their filings, they are up over 150 percent. We know the trend is continuing upward.
I do feel this amendment is a compassionate one. People who seek bankruptcy because of job loss, medical problems, divorce and other personal problems will be unaffected.
Mr. Chairman, it is time for us to move forward.