Memo from Dan Mica to members of the U S House of Representatives regarding bankruptcy abuse reform legislation

Letters to Congress

Memo from Dan Mica to members of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding bankruptcy abuse reform legislation

September 10, 2002

FROM:Daniel A. Mica, President & CEO, Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
DATE:September 10, 2002
SUBJECT:CU support for bankruptcy legislation remains united, robust

Recently, congressional leaders have received correspondence from a limited number of creditors and lenders (including three credit unions -- out of 10,000 nationwide). Legislators have also received letters from Consumers' Union. Both groups state their opposition to the bankruptcy reform legislation (HR 333).

Be assured that the vast majority of credit unions continue to support HR 333. To that end, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is re-issuing the findings of opinion data on the legislation and bankruptcy abuse reform legislation.

The polls collecting this opinion data were conducted early this year. However, we have no reason to believe these sentiments have altered or changed in any way.

According to the CUNA-sponsored polls:

  • CREDIT UNION SUPPORT FOR BANKRUPTCY ABUSE REFORM IS UNITED: In the poll, credit union CEOs said bankruptcy reform, as a legislative priority, is second only to protection of the credit union tax exemption. Further, credit union support is consistent. Over the last three years, on a scale of one to nine (with nine being "most important"), credit union CEOs have given bankruptcy reform an average score of 8.2. Bankruptcy reform has, in that time period, each year rated the second-highest legislative priority for credit unions.
  • VOTER SUPPORT OF BANKRUPTCY REFORM IS STRONG: 89 percent favor requiring people who file for bankruptcy to pay off some of their debts if they are able to do so. In the same poll, 69 percent said they "strongly favor" such a requirement. Among social standings, 85.3 percent of the respondents identifying themselves as "low income" said they supported requiring people to pay off some of their debts if able to do so.

Additionally, voters have stated their support for making it more difficult to file for bankruptcy. CUNA's poll data shows that 65 percent believe it should be "more difficult;" and 60.4 percent of "low-income" voters hold the same sentiment.

"This legislation remains, for credit unions, the single most significant bill now awaiting a final decision by the Congress. Credit unions, just like the American people, have a sense for what is fair. The bankruptcy bill is aimed at people who want to abuse the system, at the expense of those Americans--many of them credit union members--who are working hard to stay afloat in today's economy. The bill protects the right of Americans who really need to file bankruptcy and get a fresh start. Further, it provides exemptions for low- to middle-income families and accounts for extraordinary circumstances. Credit union support for this legislation remains united and determined."

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