Partners In Bankruptcy Reform Await ThePayback

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WASHINGTON - (03/01/05) -- While they skirmish back-and-forthover the credit union tax exemption, there's one thing the banksand the credit unions have been fighting for side by side now foralmost a decade--that's bankruptcy reform legislation. Throughthick and thin, the coalition of creditor groups, including theAmerican Bankers Association, VISA and MasterCard cardassociations, MBNA Corp., and auto makers Ford, General Motors andDaimlerChrysler have teamed with CUNA to form one of the mostpowerful lobbies on Capitol Hill. The group has poured more than$50 million into congressional campaigns and spent a like amount tolobby Congress since the introduction of the bankruptcy bill in1996, according to Federal Election Commission records. CUNA, whichstarted off as the weak sister in the group, has come to exceed allof those interests, in terms of campaign contributions, donatingalmost $3 million to congressional campaigns in the last elections.Among the other top contributors among the consumer bankruptcycoalition are: the ABA ($2.5 million); MBNA ($1.8 million); SallieMae ($1.2 million); HSBC ($800,000); American Express($600,000).

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