Bradley attorney Jay Bender was quoted in Law360 on the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act that was recently signed into law. Since 2005, hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans seeking bankruptcy relief have had to make a difficult choice to put their disability payments toward a bankruptcy settlement or keep what might be their only source of income and avoid seeking the financial help they need. This is because, for the purpose of taking stock of a debtor’s earnings, the law excluded benefits paid by social security but not those paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bender and a team of attorneys, nicknamed the “Tiger Team,” led the charge to fix that ambiguity.
Bender said the issue first came to his attention in January 2017 after learning about a bankruptcy case in Wisconsin — one of many such cases around the country — in which a judge ruled that only legislators could decide whether veterans’ benefits constitute disposable income.
Bender got in touch with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who drafted the initial bill that became the Haven Act. The bill was in limbo for a while, until the Tiger Team members joined forces in the summer of 2018 in an attempt to help push it through the legislative process.
Albanese “got the ball rolling” by setting up the group’s first meeting in D.C. and “recruiting” Petraeus to join her, Bender said.
The complete article, “Atty ‘Tiger Team’ Helps Win Bankruptcy Fix For Disabled Vets,” first appeared in Law360 on October 6, 2019.