Keep Calm and Carry On – Observations Regarding CBRA

First, breathe deep and try to relax.

The Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative House Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, with minimal notice, set an oversight hearing for September 29, 2022. The subcommittee is charged to deal with matters relating to bankruptcy. The subject of the hearing was to be the “Oversight of the Bankruptcy Code, Part 2: Ensuring a Fresh Start for Consumers.” This was an apparent continuation of the prior Congress’ consideration of the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2020 (“CBRA”).

Hours prior to the hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation entitled The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2022. TheBill, S.4980, is markedly similar to the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2020 which did not move when it was introduced in the waning days of the prior Congress.

Minutes before convening the Subcommittee hearing, it was postponed. No rescheduled date was set.

The Subcommittee anticipated hearing from three panels. First, members of Congress to speak on the overview of the bankruptcy system (Senator Warren and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene were expected to testify). A second panel would be composed of law professors (some of whichactually drafted the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act) and several practitioners.

It is interesting to note that as of press time (10/7) the text of the bill remains unavailable at Congress.gov. TheBill is 194 pages long and makes substantial changes to the current bankruptcy system. It repeals Chapter 13 and seeks to replace the two-chapter framework of consumer bankruptcy to a single chapter, Chapter 10. Were it enacted, the law would take effect one year after enactment. Just as in prior major modifications of the bankruptcy system, the end product will bear little resemblance to the original draft.

The legislation has been endorsed according to Senator Warren, by a number of consumer advocacy groups, including the Action Center on Race and the Economy, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Americans for Financial Reform, the AFL-CIO, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumer Law Center, Service Employees International, and the Center for Responsible Lending. Senator Warren’s website indicates that 86 law professors who specialize in bankruptcy and consumer law have sent a letter in support of this legislation.

Although it is somewhat mystifying that all of these endorsements would be generated by a nearly 200-page bill that has not been publicly released, except by Senator Warren about 24 hours before the oversight hearing. Assuming the original legislation is the framework of this legislation, bankruptcy professionals should take careful note of the provisions of the bill.

There are miles to go before the CBRA has any chance of becoming law.

It is interesting to note that, rather than referring this legislation to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, a committee in which Senator Warren is a member.

Please pay attention to the Academy updates as this legislation works its way through this soon to be erstwhile Congress.

Copy of Hildebrand-2016
Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)

Henry E. Hildebrand, III has served as Standing Trustee for Chapter 13 matters in the Middle District of Tennessee since 1982 and as Standing Chapter 12 Trustee for that district since 1986. He also is of counsel to the Nashville law firm of Belcher Sykes Harrington, PLLC. Mr. Hildebrand graduated from Vanderbilt University and received his J.D. from the National Law Center of George Washington University. He is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and the Nashville Bar Foundation. He is Board Certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification and serves on its faculty committee. He is Chairman of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee for the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT). He is on the Board of Directors for the NACTT Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education, Inc. and is an adjunct faculty member for the Nashville School of Law and St. Johns University School of Law. In addition, he served as a commissioner to the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy.

Related Articles

January 19, 2020
By Craig Shopneck, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio Retired It was many months ago when Mike Joseph asked, if, as a retired trustee, would I be interested in writing an article for the NACTT Academy. This may seem like a rather straightforward task but before putting pen to paper I needed time to reflect not...
Members
March 31, 2019
By Wm. Houston Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge (Retired) Debtor’s Attorney - Suspension of firm upheld. The District court affirmed the 90-day suspension of Law Solutions Chicago, LLC (d/b/a UpRight Law, LLC), with the record supporting the bankruptcy court’s findings that the firm failed to adequately represent the debtor in a “simple” consumer case. Disgorgement of fees was appropriate under...
Members
Copy of Hildebrand-2016
December 18, 2022
Where a debtor fails to disclose to the Court or the trustee a forbearance on his mortgage that he was to pay directly, the Court would grant the trustee’s motion to modify to recapture as much as possible of the surplus funds the forbearance generated. (Kenney) In re Ilyev, 2022 WL 2965029 (Bankr. E.D. Va. July 26, 2022) Case Summary...
Members
January 20, 2019
By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN) PART I: Statutes, Rules & Supreme Court (In)actions Introduction Click here for Part II Click here for Part III Click here for Part IV What is the effect of an arbitration clause in bankruptcy? When . . . It looks like you are not signed in or registered! This content...
Members
June 30, 2019
By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN) Introduction In In re Fulton,1 the Seventh Circuit has restated its position on passive violation of the automatic stay, holding that failure by the City of Chicago to turn over impounded vehicles after the owners' bankruptcy filings violated Bankruptcy Code sections 362 and 542. Fulton – Background and Ruling The...
Members
March 31, 2019
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee When the wages of an insolvent spouse are deposited into the couple’s entireties account, both spouses are fraudulent transferees; wage deposits spent on non-necessary expenditures are recoverable from the joint account by determining the proportion to the overall share of wages in the account as...
Members
October 20, 2019
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) Claimant in proof of claim lacking prima facie validity was sanctioned. The proof of claim secured by the debtor’s residence failed to satisfy Rule 3001(c)(2)(C) requirements, including incomplete Form B 410A with no payment history. The claimant’s attempt to amend the claim on the eve of the contested objection to claim would defeat...
Members
__ head shot
May 21, 2023
Chapter 13 plans and confirmation orders will occasionally include post-confirmation disclosure and turnover requirements for tax returns and refunds and for other types of post-petition recoveries and income. Debtors are expected, on their own and without the need for rigorous trustee oversight, to fulfill the turnover requirements as a condition of plan completion and discharge. What happens when the case...
Members
November 29, 2020
By Angela M. Scolforo, Staff Attorney to Herbert L. Beskin, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Western District of Virginia “How long?” is a common plea. When my children were young and we travelled they would ask, “how long before we get there?” In scripture we find David, Habakkuk and Zechariah (none of whom were Debtors’ attorneys) all crying out, “how...
Members
July 24, 2021
By Lawrence R. Ahern, III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN) Wonk Alert This Part 2 wraps up some suggestions about how the parties to residential mortgages may avoid or minimize problems in the structuring and administration of these loans, with a discussion of subsection 1111(b) of Bankruptcy Code.1 This discussion may seem arcane, as indeed many experienced Chapter 11 practitioners...
Members

Looking to Become a Member?

ConsiderChapter13.org offers a forum to advance continuing education of consumer bankruptcy via access to insightful articles, informative webinars, and the latest industry news. Join now to benefit from expert resources and stay informed.

Webinars

These informative sessions are led by industry experts and cover a range of consumer bankruptcy topics.

Member Articles

Written by industry experts, these articles provide in-depth analysis and practical guidance on consumer bankruptcy topics.

Industry News

The Academy is the go-to source for the latest news and analysis in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy industry.

To get started, please let us know which of these best fits your current position: