American Bankruptcy Institute Update

April 14, 2005

In This Issue


Legislation Update

Bankruptcy Bill Passes House; President Expected to Sign

The House this afternoon passed S. 256 on a vote of 302-126, sending the bill to President Bush for his expected signature. The vote total in favor, however, was less than in previous years. The president’s action could come next week. The controversial bill would make the most significant changes to the law in a generation. Before final passage, House Democrats decried the inability to offer a series of amendments on the means test, homestead exemption, corporate venue choice, lender marketing practices, interest rates and identity theft, among other topics. The House Rules Committee yesterday adopted a “closed rule” preventing any amendments. The House passed the rule today on a party line vote.

Major Consumer Bankruptcy Effects of the 2005 Reform Legislation

A summary, prepared by Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois, discusses changes in consumer bankruptcy law affected by the bill. Read the summary at ABI’s special section on the bankruptcy bill.

Panel Urges Tighter Rein Over Credit Counselors

A Senate subcommittee said yesterday that Congress should consider tightening federal oversight of tax-exempt credit counseling agencies, CongressDaily reported. Permanent Investigations Subcommittee ranking member Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) released a report recommending the IRS require nonprofit credit counseling agencies to submit documentation every five years to prove that they are engaged in charitable activities. Read the report.

Specter Might Further Alter Asbestos Bill For GOP Support

Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) , who crafted the asbestos proposal, said yesterday the "core of the bill" would remain unchanged, but he will consider changes to the draft over the next week to try to assuage Republicans requesting further modification, CongressDaily reported. The United Auto Workers (UAW) is backing the new plan. In a letter sent Wednesday to all Senate offices, Alan Reuther, UAW's legislative director, said the bill is preferable to the current system. The insurance industry, though, is still divided over the proposal. Specter is expected to formally introduce a bill early next week.

Health Care, International Committee E-Newsletters Now Online

The April issue of ABI’s Health Care Committee e-newsletter is available online. It addresses the impact of the new bankruptcy law on health care bankruptcies . The committee will also meet on April 30, 2005, at the Annual Spring Meeting to discuss treatment of malpractice claims in bankruptcy court.

ABI’s International Committee e-newsletter features an article on “ Chapter 15: Ancillary and Other Cross-border Cases.” The committee will present a panel titled “Selling Foreign Assets Free and Clear under Section 363” at the 2005 Annual Spring Meeting on Saturday, April 30.

Taxation Committee to Address Current Developments in Bankruptcy and Tax Law at ASM

ABI’s Taxation Committee will address "Current Developments in Bankruptcy and Tax Law" on Saturday, April 30, at the Annual Spring Meeting. Wanda Russell, Insolvency Territory Manager for the Internal Revenue Service (Dallas), will discuss the Internal Revenue Service's insolvency functions and current reorganization and centralization program. Dennis O'Grady and Alex Kress, of Riker Danzig, et al. (Morristown, N.J.), creditors' committee counsel in United Healthcare System Inc., will discuss the recent decision in In re United Healthcare System Inc., 396 F.3d  247 (3rd Cir. 2005) concerning whether a claim is a debt or excise tax.

Deadline for ASM Hotel Registration Is Today

If you still need to reserve a room for the April 28-May 1 conference, the new overflow hotel is the Renaissance Washington DC, 999 9 th St NW , $249/night. The deadline to reserve a room is today, April 14. Please call (202) 898-9000 and ask to be placed in the ABI room block. Register online today.

Time to Update Your ABI Profile

Updates for the 2005-2006 ABI Membership Directory are due by April 20. Included in the directory will be your main contact information, plus any additional demographic information you may wish to include (school, certifications, specialties, etc.) Please make sure all of our information is complete and correct by visiting ABI World ( You will need to input your user id and password to gain access. The default user id is your e-mail address and the default password is your ABI membership number, which can be found above your name on your ABI Journal label. This information will be used for the printed, online, and CD-rom membership directories. ABI has mailed a printed directory questionnaire, which you should receive soon. Additional city listings can be purchased with the questionnaire.

New Article at Global Insolvency

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Australia : Closing the Book on Chapter 11
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Latest Job Postings at ABI Career Center

Check out the ABI Career Center. The Center is a one-stop site for job seekers and employers in the insolvency community. Career Center resources are available free to both employers and job seekers. New positions are featured daily. The latest listings include: