Fact Check Friday 9/4/2020

Did you know that career politician Minority Whip Dick Durbin has remained silent while 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies are tied to medical issues?  An estimated 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical issues and bills.  African Americans and Latinos are hardest hit by bankruptcies.  Interestingly, African Americans are overrepresented in bankruptcy because of attorney steering.  When you follow the money, it shows Sen. Durbin has failed Black and Brown people of Illinois.  According to Open Secrets since 2015, Sen. Durbin has received $1,278,953 from lawyers and law firms. It is no surprise that he writes laws to favor them and not the people of Illinois.  After 37 years in Congress and the Senate, Sen. Durbin has done nothing to close the racial disparity gaps in health care or bankruptcy.

Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther Superhero died at age 43 from colon cancer.  African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer of any ethnic group in America. African Americans are the least healthy ethnic group in America.  

Minority Whip Durbin’s Failed Record on Closing Racial Disparities in Bankruptcy

  • Since 2012, the Northern District of Illinois has experienced a dramatic increase in Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings being driven entirely by African American low-income debtors (Pro Publica 2017)

  • Because of the increase of African Americans in Chapter 13 filings, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago had more consumer filings in 2015 than any other district in the country (Pro Publica 2017)

  • African Americans select Chapter 13 at twice the rate of Whites who opt for Chapter 7.  In fact, Chapter 7 has higher success rates and lower attorney fees (Race and Bankruptcy: Explaining Racial Disparities in Consumer Bankruptcy)

  • In Chicago, for debtors living in African American areas, the odds of having a case dismissed were about four times as high as those debtors living in white areas (Pro Publica 2017)

  • In Chicago, for debtors living in African American areas, the odds of having a Chapter 13 case dismissed were about 70 percent higher than those debtors living in white areas (Pro Publica 2017)

  • Once African Americans and Latinos enter Chapter 13, they obtain bankruptcy relief far less often than Whites.  The odds of discharge are 40 percent lower for Black and Latino debtors as compared to Whites (Bankruptcy Disparities by Race)

Definitions :
Chapter 7: Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, this lets the debtor liquidate all nonexempt property and discharge their debts within three to six months.
Chapter 11: The debtor commits to a payment plan to repay a portion of their debts and discharge the rest.  It’s more expensive and complicated than bankruptcy which also involves a payment plan.  
Chapter 13: The debtor commits to a three to five-year payment plan.  Upon completion of the plan, their remaining debts are discharged.

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