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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Statement on Bankruptcy Law Taking Effect

Washington, D.C. (October 17, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine's statement on new bankruptcy reform law taking effect October 17:

"The new bankruptcy law that takes effect today strikes the proper balance between compassion for those truly in need of a fresh start, and an attempt to curb widespread abuses in the program that have driven up the costs of credit for all consumers.

"The flexibility of the new law will be tested as victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes try to put their lives back together. ICBA is confident the revised code will demonstrate that it can accommodate special circumstances and needs while making sure that those who can afford to repay a portion of their debt will be required to do so.

"This new law is long overdue, will benefit all consumers in the long run, and should be allowed to work."