New Bankruptcy LawTargeting the Wrong People?

By: Charles Essmeier

Studies suggest that the number of business bankruptcies may actually be up to ten times higher than previously reported. Many small businesses that fail and file for bankruptcy do so under guidelines that technically classify them as personal bankruptcies. The new law doesn’t account for this, however, and treats such bankruptcy filers no differently than those who file because they can’t stop shopping. It benefits no one to force a small store owner to undergo mandatory credit counseling when their business may have failed due to other reasons, such as having a big-box retailer more in next door.

Even if that is the case, the law will require the bankrupt business owner to attend counseling in order to learn about managing personal and household budgets. This wastes the time of both the business owner and the credit-counseling agency and denies valuable counseling resources to those people who may really need it.

In time, Congress may amend this legislation if certain aspects of it do not work as intended. In the meantime, small business owners and those with personal debt problems will be inconvenienced, credit counseling agencies will be overworked, and no one will be any better off for it.

Bankruptcy
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