Means Test Violates Uniformity Requirement of the Bankruptcy Code According to Latest ABI Poll
Contact: John Hartgen
VIOLATES UNIFORMITY REQUIREMENT OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE, ACCORDING TO
August 7, 2007, Alexandria,
Va. —A majority of respondents (59 percent) to
Thirty-one percent of respondents, however, did not agree that that the means test established by BAPCPA violated the Bankruptcy Code’s uniformity requirement. Twenty-four percent “strongly disagreed” and 9 percent “somewhat disagreed” that the means test violated the Bankruptcy Code because it relied on median income level data and IRS expense standards that vary by state. Six percent of the respondents did not know or had no opinion on the issue.
The poll question is based on a recent decision in which the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee held that BAPCPA's means testing component did not violate the Bankruptcy Code's uniformity requirement. The court, in Schultz v. U.S. (2007 WL 1447892, E.D.Tenn.), noted that the uniformity requirement does not exclude different results in different states because of state law variations and that the debtors supplied no principled reason for concluding that variations resulting from federal statistics created unconstitutional non-uniformity. The decision is currently on expedited appeal before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.