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 May 6, 2005
Bush signing bankruptcy overhaul
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WHITE HOUSE A stroke of President Bush's pen today will make it harder for Americans to wipe out their debts by declaring bankruptcy.

Under a bill he's signing at the White House, debtors who can afford to would have to work out a plan to pay back what they owe.

The measure approved by Congress last week is the biggest overhaul of bankruptcy law in a quarter-century.

It culminates eight years of lobbying by bank and credit card companies, who contend that gamblers, deadbeat parents and even multi (m) millionaires have been abusing the relief that bankruptcy provides.

Opponents say it'll increase the burden on low-income workers, single mothers, minorities and the elderly. They say it also knocks out a safety net for those who've been fired or face crushing medical bills.

But Bush calls it a "commonsense" step that'll give more Americans access to credit.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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