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ABI Poll Crop Relief Payments Considered Part of Debtors Estate If Bankruptcy Filed Prior to Aid Law

Contact: John Hartgen
                 703-739-0800
                 jhartgen@abiworld.org

ABI POLL: CROP RELIEF PAYMENTS CONSIDERED PART OF DEBTOR’S ESTATE IF BANKRUPTCY FILED PRIOR TO AID LAW

 

April 27, 2007, Alexandria, Va. —Results of a recent American Bankruptcy Institute online poll showed that respondents were closely divided over the question of whether a disaster crop relief payment should be included in the estate of a farmer who declared bankruptcy prior to enactment of the 2003 Agricultural Assistance Act. Twenty-five percent “agreed strongly,” while 26 percent “disagreed strongly” that the disaster relief payment should be included in the debtor’s estate.

An additional 18 percent of respondents “agreed somewhat” that the disaster relief payment should be included in the estate, while 8 percent “disagreed somewhat.” Twenty percent of the respondents did not know or had no opinion on the issue.

The results showed a shift in opinion on the issue from a similar poll taken last August in which the majority of respondents thought that crop payments should not be considered part of the debtor’s estate if the bankruptcy was filed prior to the aid law.

The poll is based on Bracewell v. Kelley (In re Bracewell), 11th Cir., No. 11951, 6/30/06, in which the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a disaster relief payment issued under the 2003 Agricultural Assistance Act to a farmer who had declared bankruptcy in 2002 was not part of the farmer’s bankruptcy estate. Judge Edward E. Carnes wrote that while the relief payment was a result of the farmer’s pre-bankruptcy filing losses, it should not be included in the farmer’s estate because it was the result of a statute passed post-petition.

ABI members and members of the public were welcome to submit their response to the statement: “A crop-bailout payment received by the debtor pursuant to post-petition legislation, but predicated entirely on pre-petition events, is property of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate.” The latest ABI Quick Poll was open to the public for voting from April 12-26.

ABI’s weekly Quick Poll is posted on ABI’s home page, www.abiworld.org. ABI members and the public are invited to respond to a question on a timely bankruptcy or insolvency issue. Visit http://www.abiworld.net/quickpoll/ to access the results of previous ABI Quick Polls.

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ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 11,500 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.