WASHINGTON (March 20, 2001)—The International Tire & Rubber Association is "very happy" with Senate passage of a bill intended to make it harder for debtors to avoid paying their debts by declaring bankruptcy.
"It will protect ITRA members and other retailers from being left in the lurch with unpaid bills," said Roy E. Littlefield III, government relations director for the association representing U.S. retreaders.
ITRA did not make the bankruptcy issue one of its front-burner issues, as it did with ergonomics, but the association did join several business coalitions which supported passage of the bankruptcy measure, Mr. Littlefield said.
The Senate passed its version of the bankruptcy bill March 15 by an 83-15 vote, two weeks after the House approved its own version.
Essentially, the legislation makes it more difficult for individuals to erase debts under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, which offers absolute protection against debtors, and forces more of them to file under Chapter 13, under which they must repay at least a portion of their debts over five years.
The House and Senate must now go to conference to reconcile their different versions of the bill. Bush administration officials say President Bush is displeased with some of the changes made to the legislation on the Senate floor, but not enough to consider a veto.