Letter: Irresponsible people

I believe that the April 18, 2005 editorial entitled “Free Lunch” fails to address the problems associated with the bankruptcy epidemic that has been occurring in the United States in the previous years. The Daily Illini editorial board seemingly makes the debtor into the victim of the new bankruptcy reform bill, and that is typically not the case. According to the uscourts.gov Web site, over 1.1 million people in the country filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy alone in 2004. As if that is not impressive enough, 13,362 people in Central Illinois allowed the courts to remedy their debt.

The real problem is that too many people have allowed themselves to be financially irresponsible because of the lack of severe consequences. This irresponsibility has overshadowed the claims with genuine necessity and helped to restrict allowances to those people whose debt is actually not any fault of their own. Also, the creditors’ lending practices are certainly not the problem, and it is wrong to blame the means. Playing the lending agencies off as the problem is like blaming gun manufacturers for every death that their make of weapon causes. In that same way, if there were little consequences for shooting someone, then shootings would more than likely happen much more often.

There is no argument that bankruptcy can be a very helpful tool in regaining financial control, but this new bill will make the repercussions of financial irresponsibility more likely to stop unneeded accumulation of debt due to credit.

Nathan A. Collins

junior in LAS