Today is October 17, 2013 and the eighth anniversary of when the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) went into effect. I asked Riverside Bankruptcy Trustee Todd Frealy what he was doing eight years ago today. He said that he was a bankruptcy attorney in Century City, CA and the craziness did not reach him as he did work for bankruptcy trustees.
The BAPCPA was passed in April of 2005, but did not go into effect until October 17, 2005. For those of you that were in the bankruptcy world, this new law changed the way debtors qualified for bankruptcy. At the time, there was wide spread rumors in the community that Congress was eliminating bankruptcy and that if people did not file by October 15, 2005, they would not be able to file.
In the Riverside Division of the Central District Bankruptcy Court, we had what can best be described as “Craziness and Chaos” in the Bankruptcy Court’s clerks office. The lines were out the door and down the street of people trying to file their cases on Friday October 15, 2005 before the 4:00pm deadline.
I remember Judge Goldberg and Judge Naugle coming down to help the Clerk’s office handle the crush. Judge Goldberg went up and down the line of people asking who was seeking a “fee waiver” and he would interview them on the spot. If they qualified, he would give them the “OK” and then they would have a fee waiver or fee installment agreement when they reached the front of the line.
I was in Riverside at the time and remember the lines of people and all of the bankruptcy attorneys I knew working around the clock to file the cases before the deadline. I stopped taking cases about a month before the deadline as I did not want to take someone’s money and not be able to file the petition before the deadline.
Here’s to the the 8th birthday of BAPCPA. Now everyone that filed prior to 10-17-05 has waited eight years and may be eligible to file again.