Thursday, May 2, 2002
Local Lawyer Named American Bankruptcy Institute President
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles attorney Andrew W. Caine has taken the reins of the American Bankruptcy Institute and may play a key role in advising Congress as a controversial bankruptcy reform bill heads toward a vote.
Caine, of Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young & Jones, was named president of the Alexandria, Va.-based ABI on April 22, after serving a year as president-elect.
ABI is a non-partisan organization and has about 8,600 lawyers, accountants, bankers, teachers and others as members.
Caine named coordinating events and running national meetings, executive meetings and monthly management committee meetings among his top presidential chores, and said he wanted the group’s committees to improve their interaction.
But he acknowledged that the Bankruptcy Reform Act will likely become the focus of his tenure and that he would concentrate on educating the public about its impact if it passes in Congress this year.
“As we did in 1994, when the last big [bankruptcy] bill passed, we’re going to look to get that information out to the people,” Caine said.
The bill generally would make it more difficult for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection.
Last month Senate and House negotiators met over the question of how much home equity an individual filing for bankruptcy can keep in states that as of now set no limit, including Texas, Florida, Kansas, South Dakota and Iowa.
One current point of contention is a clause barring abortion foes convicted of blocking the entrance to a clinic from filing for bankruptcy to avoid paying court imposed fines.
The legislation is being pushed by credit card companies who claim consumers have too much incentive to file Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code when they can avoid repaying their debts. Backers hope to force more people to file under Chapter 13, which requires a portion of the debt to be paid over five years.
In past years ABI held “tele-seminars” where anyone who was interested could listen in on an informational ABI panel presentation and Caine said they may employ that method again this year.
Caine earned his law degree from UCLA in 1983. He has devoted his entire career to bankruptcy and insurance law practice.
He served on a volunteer Los Angeles Superior Court panel arbitrating and settling small cases in the early 1990s
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company