By approving the National Guard and Reservist Debt Relief Extension Act of 2011, the Senate has paved the way for National Guards and Reservists to receive relief from the bankruptcy means test through December 2015.
“While our men and women in uniform have been placing their lives on the line, and while their families have made significant personal sacrifices, too many creditors have been using unethical and illegal tactics to squeeze them, take their homes, and drag them into court,” said Congressman Nadler. “This legislation will simply lift the administrative burden of the so-called ‘means test’ added to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005, without in any way sacrificing accountability or the obligation to repay as much of their debts as they are able. Bankruptcy is the safety net for families who are at the end of their financial rope. It is not too much to ask that we make the process a bit less burdensome for families that have already given so much to the nation.”
Over forty percent of the reservists and national guards serving abroad are experiencing some type of financial difficulty; many of those difficulties are directly related to their active duty status. When called to duty, these service men and women are obligated to leave their higher paying civilian jobs to serve in faraway locales, often maintaining two households on a fraction of the pay. This puts a serious strain on their finances leaving many debts unpaid and some servicemembers face foreclosure as a result of their deployment. By waiving the means test, we assure that guards and reservists filing bankruptcy are not penalized when they return to civilian lives.