House Passes Delgado’s Bipartisan Legislation to Ease Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Rules for Family Farmers

A news release last week from Representative Antonio Delgado (D. N.Y.) stated that, “Today, the U.S. House passed [Rep. Delgado’s] bipartisan legislation, H.R. 2336, the Family Farmer Relief Act, introduced with House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and Reps. TJ Cox (D-Calif.), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), which would ease the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules. Rep. Delgado previously testified before the House Judiciary Committee on this bipartisan legislation, and applauded its bipartisan passage through the Committee.

“Following passage Rep. Delgado said, ‘Farming in Upstate New York is a way of life and the current down turn in the farm economy threatens this time-honored tradition for thousands of family farms in my district. Today, I am proud the House voted to pass the Family Farmer Relief Act which will bring relief to struggling family farmers and allow them the flexibility to continue operations. This legislation was a bipartisan, cooperative effort from the beginning and I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for joining me to champion this important cause. I urge its swift passage in the Senate.'”

Last week’s update quoted Rep. Delgado as saying, “This is the 5th year on record of declining net farm income; prices are low, inputs are high, and current trade policies make the future for farms unknown. 2018 marked the fourth consecutive year of rising bankruptcy rates as a proportion of the farm population. This farm economy is exacerbated by an outdated bankruptcy filing cap that leaves farmers without options to restructure or repay their debt. Chapter 12 was created specifically to provide repayment flexibility and reorganizational advantages for family farms during poor economic times. Unfortunately, this outdated debt cap has rendered Chapter 12 an inaccessible tool to thousands of farm families.”

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