Reprinted from April 1998 ABI Journal
Web posted and Copyright © April 2, 1998, American Bankruptcy Institute.
¶March was a busy month for bankruptcy reform hearings: four in the House and one in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts may mark up its bill (S. 1301) as early as April 2; the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial Law will wait until after the April 2-20 recess to mark up H.R. 3150.
¶A bill to permit religious tithing and other charitable contributions in bankruptcy cases (S. 1244) is expected to pass the full Senate before the Senates April 4-19 Spring break. The bill allows up to 15 percent of income to be beyond the reach of trustees and creditors in chapter 7 and 13 cases.
¶Sen. Grassley (R-IA) has drafted, but not yet introduced, legislation covering a number of business bankruptcy issues. Some of the issues are similar to those found in H.R. 3150 (e.g., tax, small business) while others are new (e.g., health care insolvencies, swap agreements). A hearing may be held in late April.
¶Legislation to authorize 18 new bankruptcy judges is still pending in the Senate. Sen. Grassleys approach would require pre-approval of all non-case-related judge travel. The Judicial Conference is opposed.
¶The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation scheduled a hearing on the future of Amtrak, including the impact of a possible liquidation under the bankruptcy laws for the troubled rail line.
¶ The AOUSC has announced the automatic adjustment of certain dollar amounts, required every three years pursuant to the 1994 Reform Act. Affected sections include chapter 13 eligibility, exemptions, priority claims and luxury goods limits within 60 days of a consumer filing.