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Reprinted from the December/January 1998 ABI Journal December 1, 1997

Web posted and Copyright © December 1, 1997, American Bankruptcy Institute.

  • .R. 764, the Bankruptcy Amendments Act of 1997, passed the House on November 12. Among other features, the bill raises the current $4 million cap on special treatment of single asset real estate cases to $15 million. Another provision would prevent individuals from avoiding liability for damages arising out of drunken boating or aircraft accidents. There is no companion bill in the Senate.
  • The Senate approved the permanent extension of chapter 12 (S. 1024) and a bill to improve the priority status of property tax claims and liens of state and local governments, such as school districts, in chapter 11 cases (S. 1149). There are no companion bills in the House.
  • The bill to create 18 new bank-ruptcy judgeships (H.R. 1596) is still pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee, having passed the full House earlier this year. Sen. Grassley's staff has met with representatives of the Judicial Conference on issues related to the request. No Senate bill has been introduced.
  • Legislation that would broaden the government's ability to assert its police and regulatory power exception to the automatic stay has passed the House as part of an unrelated measure dealing missile technology (H.R. 2079). The bankruptcy provision had passed the Senate in May as part of the chemical weapons legislation (S. 610). Though both the Senate and now the House have passed the bankruptcy provision, action on the underlying bills must occur for the provision to be sent to the President.
  • The State Justice Commerce appropriations bill for FY '98, approved by Congress, includes a provision that would study the issue of splitting the Ninth Circuit. An earlier version had included language that would actually divide the circuit without a study.


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