NACBA serves as the voice for debtors’ attorneys and their clients in the U.S. Congress. NACBA’s team of legislative advocates in Washington works with a coalition of allies who often join in our efforts, including organizations representing working families, women and children, the civil rights community, consumer groups, and others interested in preserving fair and balanced bankruptcy laws.
“I attended the NACBA Capital Hill meeting this year in Washington DC. The event was wonderfully enlightening and educational. Tuesday’s training was very informative on the bills and the legislative process, and we had the opportunity to meet many of the other participants. Wednesday on “the Hill” was exhilarating. I would recommend other NACBA members to attend to give them the opportunity to learn and participate to further NACBA’s cause to help our debtors navigate through the bankruptcy process and save their homes. Whether we like it or not, or agree with it or not, our government continues to run our country and affect our lives. Let’s get involved.”
Donna Joseph, N. Miami Bch, FL
Member since 2005
Recognizing the importance of the news media in shaping public opinion and the opinions of lawmakers, NACBA also serves as the central clearinghouse for media requests regarding consumer bankruptcy issues and proactively carries out public awareness campaigns. In addition, NACBA serves as a resource for members in their own outreach to local media.
Recent Legislative Efforts
NACBA Calls to Restore the Student Debt Bankruptcy Discharge
WASHINGTON, D.C.- On June, 25, 2019 NACBA was given the opportunity to testify before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law during the hearing “Oversight of Bankruptcy Law and Legislative Proposals”. NACBA’s Vice President, Ed Boltz, as well as the other witnesses on the panel, made a strong call for restoration of the student loan bankruptcy discharge. The call for bankruptcy relief for student loan debtors was unanimously supported by the witness panel that included Ms. Hollister K. Petraeus (Former Assistant Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs), Mr. Robert Keach (on behalf of The American Bankruptcy Institute), Mr. John Rao (on behalf of The National Consumer Law Center), Ms. Dalié Jiménez (Professor, University of California Irvine School of Law) and The Honorable Thomas Small (Professor, University of California Irvine School of Law).
NACBA strongly supports current bipartisan legislation in the Senate (S. 1414) and House (H.R. 2648), introduced respectively by Senator Dick Durbin and Congress members Jerrold Nadler and John Katko, to restore the bankruptcy discharge for student loan debt. “Growing evidence indicates that student loan debts not only severely restrict borrowers’ futures, but also are choking economic productivity”, testified Boltz. “These minimal efforts show the inadequacy of piecemeal, non-comprehensive changes that stop short of restoring the general dischargeability of student loans in bankruptcy.”
To further strengthen the call to restore student loan bankruptcy discharge, NACBA is proud to introduce a new project: studentdebtbomb.com, a social media campaign to promote the Student Borrower Bankruptcy Protection Act of 2019 (S. 1414 and H.R. 2648), which seeks to make student loans fully dischargeable. The goal of the social media campaign is to encourage people to contact their Senators and Congressional Representatives, urging them to cosponsor the bills.
NACBA Legislative Committee Advocates in D.C.
NACBA Legislative Committee Members joined together from February 26-28, 2018 in Washington, D.C. for Capitol Hill Day to meet with Members of Congress in the House and Senate. Throughout the three day Hill Day, the NACBA Committee met with nearly 40 Congressional Members and staff, targeting those who serve on respective House or Senate Judiciary and/or Education Committees.
The halls of Congress were bustling, and NACBA was excited to participate to promote the discharge of federal and private student loans in bankruptcy. NACBA specifically focused on encouraging House sponsorship of bipartisan bill H.R. 2366 Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act of 2017 sponsored by Congressmen John Delaney (D-MD) and John Katko (R-NY). NACBA members also encouraged Senators to take lead in sponsoring a similar bipartisan bill.
NACBA’s Legislative Committee worked with NACBA Government Affairs Director Krista D’Amelio to coordinate the many Congressional meetings, and craft NACBA’s key messaging for encouraging the discharge of federal and private student loans in bankruptcy. NACBA’s Legislative Committee looks forward to continuing this work on behalf of all NACBA members and their clients.
Call for Congressional Action
On April 12, 2000, NACBA, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) issued a joint Call to Action, calling on Congress to change bankruptcy laws to help hundreds of thousands of American families struggling with abusive subprime mortgages escape foreclosure and the loss of up to $164 billion in home-based wealth.
NACBA President Testifies Before Congressional Committee
NACBA President Henry Sommer testified on May 1, 2007, before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on “The Second Anniversary of the Enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act.” In addition to considering the impact of the 2005 amendments, the hearing provided a valuable forum in which to promote the proposals made by NACBA and other consumer groups to deal with the mortgage foreclosure crisis through expanding chapter 13 debtors’ rights.
NACBA Members Meet With Members Of U.S. Congress
NACBA Members join together annually in Washington for Capitol Hill Day to meet with their Congress members and senators. NACBA members who participated in the Capitol Hill Meeting on February 5-6, 2007, found the halls of Congress to be much more receptive to the NACBA agenda than in recent years. 40+ NACBA members from 25 states held more than 100 meetings with Representatives and Senators and their staffs. On Day 1, NACBA members attended an extensive training session, covering how to have an effective meeting with a member of Congress and articulate NACBA’s legislative objectives and priorities for the 110th Congress and the importance of staying on-message. NACBA’s Legislative Committee worked with Legislative Director Maureen Thompson to coordinate the event, including setting up the many NACBA-member meetings with their Congress members and senators, crafting our key message, and arranging for veteran Washington insiders to speak at the training sessions.