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Legislative Highlights Jul/Aug 1999

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The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999 (S. 625) remains pending in the Senate on the eve of the month-long August recess. Congress returns on September 8. Negotiations continue behind the scenes on topics such as reaffirmations and credit card statement disclosures.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has released a study on the use of the unlimited homestead exemptions in Texas and Florida. The study looked at 16,531 cases closed in two districts in the two states and found only 156 cases involved exemptions of more than $100,000. The study was requested by Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Jeff Sessions (D-AL); they are supporters of an amendment to S. 625 that would cap the exemption at $100,000. The House version of the bill (H.R. 833) contains a $250,000 cap, but allows states to opt out of the cap by a specific subsequent enactment.

The FCC's effort to exempt certain telecommunications licenses (PCS C-block) from the reach of Title 11 is close to winning approval in the Senate. The controversial provision (§618), included in the giant Commerce-Justice-State spending bill, would allow the FCC to reclaim and re-auction the licenses, even those in a pending bankruptcy case. The bill (S. 1217) is nearing approval by the Senate. No such provision is present in the House bill, so it could be struck from a final conference report.

Join members of the Web Site Editorial Board for an online discussion of the key business bankruptcy provisions in the reform bills (S. 625 and H.R. 833). Topics include the anti-Delaware venue provision, special rules for small business and single-sset real estate cases, bankruptcy appellate procedure, reclamation, treatment of asset-backed securitization, disinterestedness, reversal of the Catapult decision and more.

Journal Date: 
Thursday, July 1, 1999

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