Consumer News for January 13, 2006

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

January 13, 2006

New guidelines has drivers getting fewer miles to the gallon, and 2005 was one for the record book with more consumers trying to get out of debt.

"Sticker shock" at car dealerships is about to take on a whole new meaning. That's because the EPA is moving to change standards for determining mileage estimates for city and highway driving.

The government has essentially admitted what consumer groups have been saying all along: that the environmental protection agency mileage stickers on the cars we buy are out of touch with the real world.

So the EPA will soon change the way they test mileage. After applying the new guidelines, city fuel mileage estimates for most vehicles would drop 10 to 20 percent. Highway mileage estimates would drop five to 15 percent.

2005 was a record breaking year for bankruptcy. More than two million people filed before the bankruptcy law changed in mid-October.

This new guidelines makes it harder for people to prove they should be allowed to clear their debts in what's known as a "fresh start" or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

The number of people who filed for bankruptcy was up 47 percent higher than in 2004.

In addition to being expensive, bankruptcy could ruin your credit for up to 10 years.

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