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President Signs the Honoring American Veterans In Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act of 2019 Into Law

Alexandria, Va. — President Donald J. Trump today signed the “Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act of 2019” (HAVEN Act; H.R. 2938) into law. The bipartisan legislation, which ABI testified in support of in June, passed the House in late July and the Senate on August 1.

“The HAVEN Act ensures that the Bankruptcy Code works for, not against, struggling veterans looking to achieve a financial fresh start,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “ABI commends the Congress for developing this important and bipartisan bill into law.”

The HAVEN Act was introduced on May 23 in the House by Reps. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) and Greg Steube (R-Fla.) to exclude VA and DoD disability payments from the monthly income calculation used for bankruptcy means testing. The bill was included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed on June 27. ABI Veterans Affairs Task Force Member Holly Petraeus, a former assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testified in favor of the bill on behalf of the Task Force before the House Judiciary Committee. ABI’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy also endorsed the provision. A bipartisan companion bill (S. 679) was introduced on March 6 in the Senate by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

“VA and DoD disability payments made to veterans or their dependent survivors were earned in defense of our country,” Gerdano said. “The HAVEN Act fixes the Code to make sure that these payments are shielded from creditors.”


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 11,000 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 For additional conference information, visit