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<p>WASHINGTON-House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) announced April 16 on the House floor that the bankruptcy conferees would be meeting next on April 23 to work on the major issues in the bankruptcy reform legislation (H.R. 333). The homestead and clinic violence provisions have been a real sticking point between the Republicans and Democrats. Sensenbrenner made the announcement during debate on the House floor regarding the related farmers’ bankruptcy bill (H.R. 4167) extending Chapter 12 protections for farmers. The broader bankruptcy reform bill would make Chapter 12 permanent, and Sensenbrenner said he expects to have a final bill by June 1. “In the last several years, bankruptcy courts have written off $44 billion of debt every year, and that amounts to $400 of additional cost of goods and services, in effect, a $400 hidden tax on people all throughout this country who pay their bills as agreed.One of the purposes of the bankruptcy bill that we have been dealing with has been to drive that $44 billion down so that the hidden tax on every American family would not be as great as $400 a year,” Sensenbrenner told his colleagues. Credit unions are primarily concerned about provisions providing means testing, financial education, and allowing voluntary reaffirmations for credit union members.</p>

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