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Disproportionality Even in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Claims More Female Victims

An editorial by Rafia Khader, Law Clerk, M. Hedayat & Associates, P.C.

Bankruptcy is a trying situation for any individual. But for women it seems as if the laws yet again disproportionately burden them. I came across an interview with Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren a while ago that was both shocking and predictable. In it she said that changes to the bankruptcy law made in 2005 (oh those again!) made it much harder for women to make ends meet.

Before 2005 women dependent on domestic support from their ex-husbands were able to collect such payments with full confidence because declaring bankruptcy meant that the ex-husband’s debts, excluding domestic support obligations of course, would be wiped out. But no, the credit card companies didn’t like that! Why should ex-wives be able to collect the ex-husband’s money and not they! The injustice! So in 2005, they had the laws changed. Today, discharge of credit card debt is not necessarily guaranteed and women are, as Warren says, in ‘direct competition’ for the ex-husband’s resources. Thanks, credit card companies!

But perhaps what is most truly startling are the statistics from theU.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. A study found that women were 32% more likely to have received supbrime mortgages than men. And that’s irrespective of income! Women were also 41% more likely have received higher cost subprime loans for their businesses. And we all know what suprime means. Thanks, Wall Street!

Sure, these statistics don’t establish any type of causal relationship and you can’t really blame credit card companies for ruining women’s lives (there are other institutions in places that have contributed to that), but the bottom line is this: women definitely do have it tougher. But of course I am a woman and I would say that.

But I am also right.


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