Shocker: N.C. lawmakers may give creditors access to your bank account

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Thanks to Rob Schofield at NC Policy Watch for pointing out a disturbing bill already making its way through the new GOP-run legislature in Raleigh. Here’s the short version: If conservative lawmakers have their way (in other words, unless Gov. Perdue vetoes this outrageous idea), credit card companies or other “general creditors” will be able to yank money that you owe them right out of your bank account.

Believe it, folks, because next week, an N.C. House committee will take up legislation to permit general creditors to garnish your wages. North Carolina now restricts this unbelievably intrusive process, limiting it to things like back taxes and child support. If the new guys in Raleigh have their way, however, CitiCard or whichever other corporation you’re indebted to will be able to figuratively move ahead of you to the front of the line at your bank and take anything that is above 75 percent of your net income. Oh, you were going to pay the rent and by some food this week? So-o-r-r-ry – not gonna happen, 'cause Capital One has the go-ahead from financial industry whores in the state legislature to take your money.

Granted, people are supposed to be personally accountable and pay their debts; no one is denying that. But it’s also true that these are genuinely hard times for many people; plus, people do occasionally run into unexpected problems — family illness, lost job, whatever — and, to put it mildly, it’s not the state government’s duty to make it harder for people to get back on their feet.

NC Policy Watch’s Schofield points out that this bill is just the latest example that gives the lie to the myth that “conservatives are against ‘big government’ interfering in the lives of individuals.” Schofield goes on,

As we’ve been repeatedly reminded of late, the right actually loves big government – especially when it comes to things like making people show their papers to law enforcement and election officials, limiting a woman’s right to decide what to do with her own body and health, telling consenting adults who they can love and share their lives with, freeing up the police to engage in unlawful searches and seizures, and a host of other areas. [Patriot Act, anyone? – JG] In short, it’s another classic example of corporate interests using state power to limit the freedom of individuals – and another example of conservative hypocrisy.

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