Bankruptcy and the Presidential Election

11 Sep Bankruptcy and the Presidential Election

It’s that time again: two candidates, with very different political views, vying to be the leader of our nation. But what does this mean for Bankruptcy?

Four years ago, part of Obama’s platform included passing a bankruptcy reform bill that would allow Chapter 13 judges to have the power, under limited and appropriate circumstances, to modify the first mortgage or deed of trust on a family’s home. That would probably have gone a long way towards saving the housing crisis. It wasn’t supported by the Republicans and never made it out of Congress.

It is not included in the 2012 Democratic platform. In fact, it’s nowhere to be found 4 years later.

There is no mention of bankruptcy reform that I could find in the Democrat’s platform. There are discussions of strengthening the economy, creating jobs, regulating big banking interests, and protecting consumers. But no mention of help for those persons needing bankruptcy.

The Republicans fought against bankruptcy reform (successfully) four years ago. And there is no mention in their platform of doing anything different now.

Their platform contains language about privatizing the mortgage industry to bring about “fairness.” They talk about reducing Federal regulations including deregulation of the banking and mortgage industries. And, although there is language about it being important to protect consumers and restore the middle class, there is, at least as far as I could find, no plan or program for how to do that other than by de-regulation and reducing taxes.

So, who do you vote for, if your primary concern is the economy and consumer rights? The Republicans promise that lowering taxes will create larger profits for businesses with which they will hire more employees, raise wages and stipulate the economy. The Democrats promise they can bring back the middle class and help consumers by regulation.

Which offers the most promise? I don’t know. But it looks to me like there will be little help for those among us needing bankruptcy relief.


image credit: Vectorportal

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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