Regarding the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act of 2015by Representative Steve Cohen
Posted on 2015-12-15
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the National Guard
and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act of 2015, which I introduced
earlier today with my colleagues Jerrold Nadler and Dana Rohrabacher.
This bipartisan legislation ensures that certain members of the National Guard and Reserves who fall on hard economic times after their service will continue to obtain bankruptcy relief without having to fill out the substantial paperwork required by the so-called ``means test'' under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.
This bill simply extends the existing ``means test'' exception, which will expire at the end of the year if Congress fails to act.
Under the means test, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is presumed to be an abuse of the bankruptcy process if it appears that the debtor has income in excess of certain thresholds. The National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Act of 2008 created an exception to the means test's presumption of abuse for members of the National Guard and Reserves who, after September 11, 2001, served on active duty or in a homeland defense activity for at least 90 days. The exception remains available for 540 days after the servicemember leaves the military.
The National Guard and Reservist Debt Relief Extension Act of 2015 would simply extend the exception until December 2019.
This bill is a meaningful way for our Nation to recognize the tremendous sacrifice made by National Guard and Reserve members who have served on active duty or homeland defense since September 11, 2001 and may be suffering financial hardship.
I urge my colleagues to support this bill.