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Bankruptcy Judge Warns of Debt Traps

Posted Apr 11, 2007 8:12 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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By the time credit-burdened consumers reach his courtroom, they are already in big trouble. So a Rochester, N.Y., bankruptcy judge decided to try to help them get control of their finances at an earlier stage.

To do so, Judge John C. Ninfo II founded Credit Abuse Resistance Education, or CARE, which sends judges, attorneys and other bankruptcy system volunteers to talk to young people around the country about potential debt pitfalls, the AP reports.

The judge is an active participant, recounting real stories from his courtroom, such as the couple who racked up $50,000 in credit card debt taking Disney World trips "to keep the kids happy."

"We truly have a national epidemic of financial illiteracy in this country," he says. "We in the trenches of the bankruptcy system see it every day."

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