WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) making it easier for family farmers to reorganize debts when facing bankruptcy received final approval in Congress and is headed to the president’s desk for signature. The Family Farmer Bankruptcy Clarification Act of 2017, introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Al Franken (D-MN), was included as part of the supplemental appropriations package approved in the Senate by a vote of 82-17. The measure would rectify a 2012 Supreme Court ruling on a previous bankruptcy reform law that ignored Congress’ express goal of helping family farmers.
“Farmers in North Carolina and across the country are reeling from low commodity prices and natural disasters that will take years to recover from,” said Senator Tillis. “As these farmers rebuild their reserves, Congress must provide them protection during this delicate time when so much could go wrong that is outside of their control. I am proud to support this legislation that gives our farmers and their families relief, and I applaud Congress for sending this important legislation to the President’s desk.”
“Family farmers face obstacles that others don’t when dealing with bankruptcy. Their assets are largely tied up in farmland, which creates significant challenges for these family operations when reorganizing debt. Years ago Congress took specific steps to address these disadvantages, but the Supreme Court failed to recognize Congress’ intent when evaluating the law,” Grassley said. “Thankfully Congress has now approved a fix for this problem and family farmers facing hard times can breathe a sigh of relief. I look forward to the president signing this bill into law.”
“Our bipartisan bill is a commonsense fix to ensure that the law functions as intended and protects family farmers in Minnesota and across the country,” said Franken. “I’m glad this bill is set to become law and will help ensure farmers going through bankruptcy get a fair shake and are able to repay the debts they owe without sacrificing their families’ futures.”