Page 8-Saturday, August 9, 1980-The Michigan Daily
AMERICANS GOING BROKE AT RECORD PACE
Bankruptcies run rampant
By The AssociatedPress
Americans by the thousands are
seeking legal relief from their debts, as
inflation and recession make it harder
to pay the bills and a new law makes it
less painful to go bankrupt.
The record for bankruptcy filings by
individuals - 224,354 - was set in the
year that ended June 30, 1975, and it
looks like this year will break the
STATISTICS FOR June 1980 are not
available yet, but figures from -the Ad-
ministrative Office of the U.S. Courts
show that in the 11 months from July
1979 through May 1980, there were
215,710' bankruptcy filings by in-
dividuals. That's 21 per cent more
filings than there were in the same
period a year earlier.
In May alone, 24,975 individuals filed
for bankruptcy, almost one-third more
than in May 1979. In the first five mon-
ths of this year, there were 27 per cent
more individual bankruptcy filings
than there were in the first five months
of last year.
While the headlines focus on the
financial problems of businesses rather
than people - on the woes of Chrysler
Corp., for example, rather than on the
troubles of a laid-off auto worker - it is
individuals who file almost 9 per cent of
all bankruptcy petitions.
IT IS DIFFICULT to pinpoint the
reason for the surge in bankruptcy
filings. H. Kent Presson, assistant chief
of the bankruptcy division of the Ad-
ministrative Office of the U.S. Courts,
has said the economy, including double-
digit inflation and rising unem-
ployment, is responsible for part of the
boost. But Presson and other experts
also blame - or credit - a law that
took effect last Oct. 1.
In an outline on- the new law, Irving
Piccard, U.S. Trustee for the Southern
District of New York, noted: "The pur-
pose of filinga bankruptcy petition is to
obtain a 'fresh start' - that is, freedom
from creditor harassment and worries
and pressures attendant to owing sub-
stantial amounts to creditors." Piccard
also said, however, that a petition
"should be filed only when all else has
There are two types of bankruptcy.
relief - Chapter 7, or straight
liquidation, and Chapter 13, sometimes
known as the "wage-earner plan,"
which allows a debtor to pay his or her
bills over an extended period of time.
UNDER CHAPTER 7, an individual's
assets are liquidated - sold - and the
proceeds are used to pay creditors.
There are some assets that are exempt
from liquidation. In the past, the.
amount that a debtor could keep varied
from state to state.
The new law provides a federal
exemption. Unless specifically
prohibited by state law, a debtor can
choose either the federal exemption or
the state one.
Exempt property under the federal
standard includes a maximum of $7,500
worth of equity in real property used as
a residence; $1,280 interest in a motor
vehicle; and $200 in value for each item
of household furnishings, clothing, etc.
ONCE AN individual's assets have
been liquidated, his or her financial
slate is wiped clean - even if the
creditors do not get all the money owed
to them. Certain debts remain,
however, including taxes, alimony and
child support and certain student loans.
Chapter 13 allows you to keep your
property while you pay your debts un-
der a plan worked out by the court, In
the past, you generally were ineligible
for Chapter 13 if you were self-
employed. The new law extends the
protection of Chapter 13 to people who
are self-employed, providing their in-
come is stable and regular enough to
enable them to make the payments
arranged by the court.
Fatal d og,
By United Pess International
A new fatal disease striking tens of
thousands of young dogs is spreading so
fast across the nation thatthere is not
The disease, called parvovirus, was
first identified two years ago at Cornell
University. It is believed to be a
mutated form of cat distemper.
A NATIONWIDE spot survey by
United Press International determined
that the disease has shown up in at least
25 states in all sections of the country.
Victims number in the tens of thousan-
Symptoms include vomiting,
diarrhea and high fevers, and death can
come in 24 to 36 hours.
Parvovirus strikes dogs of all ages,
but is particularly deadly to puppies
under five months. It can wipe out an
entire litter, and young survivors often
are left with severe heart damage.
Dellen Laboratories, Omaha, Neb., is
operating 24 hours a day to turn out
more than 800,000 doses of vaccine a
month, but it has a backlog of three
million doses. Next month Dellen hopes
to boost production to 1.4 million.
Dellen is the only laboratory licensed
to make the vaccine nationwide, but
Animal Vaccine Laboratories in Coun-
cil Bluff, Iowa, is licensed in six states.
The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative
Presents at MLB $1.50
Saturday, August 9
THREE STOOGES I MLB 3
They're back! More zany madness with six un
censored featurettes by the Three Stooges-all
with Curly. "Woo woo woo!"
LITTLE RASCAL SHORTS
(G. Douglas, R. McGowan, G. Meins,
1932.1937) 8:40 MLB 3
Planning a family? Attempting a study of inner-
city kids? Or just overwhelmed by the August
heat? No matter, this is your night! Cool off in
air-conditioned MLB with ninety minutes of re-
fined historical culture featuring six of the most
popular "Our Gang" shorts ever created. Nostol-
gia with Spanky, Alfalfao, Buckwheat, Stymie and
THREE STOOGES 11 MLB 3
Six more Stooges featurettes (all different from
the first show), typically outrageous and all with
Curly. A complete night of madness, without a
Next Tuesday: FellIni's
JULIET OF THE SPIRITS
and Bergmann's MONIKA
at Aud. A