Legislative Highlights Nov 1998
105th Congress Box Score: What Didn't Happen
Due to the failure to reach an agreement on the Conference Report to H.R. 3150, a number of proposed reforms contemplated by the bill are left for the next Congress, including:
- Consumer bankruptcy
- Small business bankruptcy
- Streamlined appellate structure
- In forma pauperis filings by indigent debtors
- Homestead exemption changes
- "Due process" rights for private panel trustees
Several other items also failed to make it through the legislative process this Congress, including:
- New bankruptcy judgeships (in H.R. 3150).
- Change in the treatment of derivatives, forward contracts and other financial products (in H.R. 3150).
ABI Wins Grant Award to Study Consumer Debtor Education
ABI has been awarded a $30,700 grant from the Consumer Protection and Education Fund ("Fund") of the National Association of Attorneys General to fund a study of the effectiveness of existing chapter 13 debtor education programs, and for other purposes.
The Fund was established pursuant to the settlement of a 50-state enforcement action against Sears, Roebuck & Co. The Special Committee of three Attorneys General accepts grant applications annually and approves distributions from only the interest generated by the Fund. This year (the first for the Fund), the Special Committee received 26 grant applications from state and local consumer protection agencies and non-profit entities. The Committee approved only eight projects for funding, totaling approximately $200,000.
The grant also will be used to produce an instructional videotape on bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy, as well as pamphlets on the rights upon a bankruptcy filing by a non-custodial spouse.