The Bankruptcy Reform Bill, which has been pending in Congress for over 4.5 years, and which President Bush indicates that he will sign, seems to have stalled indefinitely based upon partisan disagreement concerning the discharge of debts incurred as a result of violence targeted at abortion clinics. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Representative Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) have continued to disagree over the Senate language contained within the Bill that would specifically prohibit protestors at abortion clinics from filing for bankruptcy to escape payment of fines or damages associated with such protests. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Conference Committee, continues to be optimistic as to reform, believing that progress has been made on this final obstacle to bankruptcy reform. Democrats, however, insist that there will be no further compromise on the bill. The Committee is expected to call another meeting during the week of June 10th.

    In addition to the reform of bankruptcy laws, the Bankruptcy Reform Bill still contains numerous important amendments to the federal Truth in Lending Act, affecting disclosures applicable to open-end credit and credit extensions secured by a dwelling.

    If the Bankruptcy Reform Bill passes, it will be effective 180 days following passage. The Truth in Lending Amendments will be effective upon the later of 12 months after the enactment of the Bankruptcy Reform Bill or 12 months after the date of publication of financial regulations by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    If you would like more information regarding the proposed bill or the included Truth in Lending Act amendments, or if we can be of any other assistance with your consumer bankruptcy or compliance activities, please contact Robin De Leo in our New Orleans office at (985) 727‑1664 or [email protected]‑la.com .