In Brief: Bankruptcy Splits Nader, CUs

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WASHINGTON - The consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who for years has been an ally of credit unions, is taking them to task for teaming up with banks and credit companies in the effort for bankruptcy reform.

"It is extremely disappointing to see [credit unions] link hands with the longtime enemies of the credit union movement in support of legislation which would destroy consumer bankruptcy protections and turn the nation's bankruptcy courts into a destructive punitive collection enterprise," Mr. Nader said in a letter to Daniel A. Mica, the president of the Credit Union National Association, a trade group in Washington. "The good name of credit unions should not be attached to such an anti-consumer scheme."

Mr. Nader charged that banks, credit card companies, car dealers, finance companies, and other creditor groups, along with credit unions, have conducted a campaign of the "big lie" to suggest that abuse is rampant in consumer bankruptcy filings.

Mark Wolff, a CUNA spokesman, said that Mr. Mica sent a response to Mr. Nader explaining that his constituents' main concern is abuse of the bankruptcy process. "We have a legitimate disagreement with Ralph Nader and the other consumer groups on this issue," he said.

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