personal debt

business & economy bills 2008

Bills in Brief

Congress kicked off its year working on an economic stimulus plan, but it could get to other business-related bills left hanging from '07 later in the year.

Housing: With everyone blaming the subprime market for turning the economy sour, Congress started last year looking for ways to keep foreclosures to a minimum while taming the subprime market from future excess. It didn't get far, but this year the pressure is on to wrap up a series of bills introduced last year - from expanding federal loans to making it harder for brokers to sign off on risky loans. See our "Housing Jitters" page for more.

Food and Oil Futures: with gas and food prices on heady upswings, Congress is moving to tame commodities' future markets, which some believe are helping to nudge prices up.

business bills 2007

Bills in Brief

The new Democratic Congress continues to work on business issues that dogged last year's Congress - at the same time as giving a Democratic twist to new and old issues.

personal debt

Facts

Americans are the world's best consumers, even when we don't have money to spend. But, as it turns out, with all the worry about Americans being free and easy with Amex and Visa, our personal debts are still smaller than our assets (on the whole). This page gives a snapshot of the spending and saving habits of Americans.

Spending

How much the average* America household spends a year (2004) BLS (pdf)

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bankruptcy bill

Bill in Brief

A bankruptcy bill signed into law April, 2005 makes it more difficult for a debtor to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 - which lets you erase your debts - and is intended instead to funnel more debtors down the Chapter 13 route, requiring them to stick to partial repayment plans.

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