Thousands File Bankruptcy Petitions Ahead Of Law Change

Denver (AP) Thousands of people in Denver and across the nation are trying to file bankruptcy petitions Friday before the start of a new federal law that sets stricter standards for seeking protection from creditors. Residents arrived before dawn at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver and a line of more than 300 stretched outside the building before noon.

Some pushed babies in strollers while others resigned to a
long wait nibbled on breakfast burritos or sipped coffee.
Colleen Christian, a nursing assistant from rural Cotopaxi, says the decision to file for bankruptcy was difficult, but she's got debts that have weighed on her.

Across the nation, about 100,000 petitions were filed in the first three days this week, after about 102,000 were filed last week to break a record.

The new law takes effect Monday and is the most sweeping reform of the U.S. bankruptcy code in decades. It sets new limits on personal bankruptcy filing and requiring people to get professional credit counseling before they may file petitions.

It will prohibit most filers with above–average income from
filing Chapter Seven petitions that allow debts to wiped out.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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