Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (05/11/1999)


Title I: Needs-Based Bankruptcy

Title II: Enhanced Consumer Protection

Subtitle A: Penalties for Abusive Creditor Practices

Subtitle B: Priority Child Support

Subtitle C: Other Consumer Protections

Title III: Discouraging Bankruptcy Abuse

Title IV: General and Small Business Bankruptcy Provisions

Subtitle A: General Business Bankruptcy Provisions

Subtitle B: Small Business Bankruptcy Provisions

Title V: Municipal Bankruptcy Provisions

Title VI: Improved Bankruptcy Statistics and Data

Title VII: Bankruptcy Tax Provisions

Title VII: Ancillary and Other Cross-Border Cases

Title IX: Financial Contract Provisions

Title X: Protection of Family Farmers

Title XI: Technical Amendments

Title XII: General Effective Date; Application of Amendments

Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999 - Title I: Needs Based Bankruptcy - Amends Federal bankruptcy law to revamp guidelines governing dismissal or conversion of a Chapter 7 liquidation petition (complete relief in bankruptcy), to one under Chapter 13 (Adjustment of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income). Allows a bankruptcy panel trustee and any party in interest to move for such dismissal or conversion (current law prohibits such party in interest from such motions). Lowers the "substantial abuse" standard for dismissal or conversion to one of simple abuse. Replaces the presumption in favor of granting the relief sought by the debtor with a presumption that abuse exists if the debtor's current monthly income exceeds specified formulae. Provides that the presumption of abuse may be rebutted only with detailed documentation of special circumstances requiring additional expenses or adjustment of currently monthly total income.

Requires the debtor's counsel to: (1) reimburse the bankruptcy trustee for legal fees in prosecuting a dismissal or conversion motion if the court finds that counsel's filing under Chapter 7 was not substantially justified; and (2) pay a civil penalty for the violation of certain bankruptcy rules.

(Sec. 103) Revises procedural guidelines to mandate written notice to the individual consumer debtor before commencement of a case that credit counseling services approved by the United States Trustee are available.

(Sec. 104) Instructs the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees to: (1) develop a financial management training curriculum and materials to educate individual debtors on how to better manage their finances; and (2) evaluate and report to the Congress on the curriculum's efficacy.

(Sec. 105) Precludes an individual debtor from filing under Federal bankruptcy law unless the individual has received a briefing from an approved nonprofit credit counseling service prior to filing a bankruptcy petition.

Predicates a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 discharge in bankruptcy upon the debtor's completion of an approved instructional course concerning personal financial management.

Title II: Enhanced Consumer Protection - Subtitle A: Penalties for Abusive Creditor Practices - Cites circumstances under which the court may reduce by up to 20 percent a claim based upon unsecured consumer debts if the debtor can show by clear and convincing evidence that the claim was filed by a creditor who unreasonably refused to negotiate a reasonable alternative repayment schedule proposed by an approved credit counseling agency acting on the debtor's behalf.

(Sec. 202) Modifies guidelines governing the discharge of a debtor's liability, as well as the automatic stay, to entitle an individual who is injured by the willful failure of a creditor to credit payments received to bring an action for actual damages and legal fees.

(Sec. 203) Includes as a violation of automatic stay proscriptions any communication threatening a debtor for the purpose of coercing an agreement for a debt reaffirmation.

(Sec. 204) Modifies debt reaffirmation guidelines governing wholly unsecured consumer debts to mandate additional disclosures for dischargable debt agreements.

Instructs the Attorney General to designate United States attorneys and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to implement enforcement activities in addressing abusive reaffirmations of debt.

Subtitle B: Priority Child Support - Revises Chapter 7 priority payment guidelines to place within the first priority claim category certain claims for domestic support obligations, on the condition that funds received by a governmental unit be applied in a prescribed order.

(Sec. 213) Conditions court confirmation of a debt repayment plan under Chapters 12 (Debts of a Family Farmer) and 13 and the consequent discharge of debts upon certification of debtor's full payment of all adjudicated domestic support obligations that are due after the petition filing date.

(Sec. 214) Excepts from an automatic stay specified choses-in-action pertaining to domestic support obligations, including: (1) establishment of paternity; (2) withholding of income for payment of domestic support obligations; (3) suspension of drivers' licenses and professional licenses; (4) interception of specified tax refunds; and (5) enforcement of medical obligations under title IV, part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of the Social Security Act.

(Sec. 216) Modifies guidelines governing property exempt from the bankruptcy estate to declare such property liable for domestic support obligations.

(Sec. 217) Precludes the bankruptcy trustee from avoiding a transfer that is a bona fide payment of a debt for a domestic support obligation.

(Sec. 219) Sets forth the duties of the bankruptcy trustee under chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13 regarding a claim against an individual debtor for the collection of child support, including notifying the claim holder and the appropriate State child support agency of the debtor's location.

Subtitle C: Other Consumer Protections - Modifies guidelines governing nonattorney bankruptcy petition preparers to mandate that as a prerequisite to any collection of fees for services: (1) such preparers officially disclose to debtors that they cannot practice law or give legal advice; and (2) such disclosure be signed by the debtor and filed with the requisite court documents. Prescribes enforcement and penalty guidelines for preparers' noncompliance.

(Sec. 222) Expresses the sense of the Congress that States should develop curricula relating to the subject of personal finance, designed for use in elementary and secondary schools.

(Sec. 223) Places in the tenth order of prioritized claims against the bankrupt estate any death or personal injury claims resulting from the unlawful operation of a motor vehicle or vessel because the debtor was drug or alcohol-impaired.

(Sec. 224) Permits an individual debtor to exempt from the property of the bankrupt estate certain tax-exempt retirement funds that have not been obligated in connection with any extension of credit.

Exempts from either an automatic stay or a discharge in bankruptcy specified income withheld from the debtor pursuant to pension or profit sharing plans sponsored by such debtor's employer to pay certain loans from such plans.

Title III: Discouraging Bankruptcy Abuse - Modifies exceptions to a discharge in bankruptcy to prohibit discharge of a filing fee imposed by any court upon a prisoner.

(Sec. 302) Terminates the automatic stay 30 days after filing of a petition if a chapter 7, 11, or 13 petition was pending and dismissed the previous year, unless the subsequent filing is in good faith. Delineates conditions under which a history of previous petitions in bankruptcy give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the case is not filed in good faith.

(Sec. 303) Directs the court to grant relief from the automatic stay upon request of a party in interest with respect to certain real property actions if the court finds that filing the bankruptcy petition was part of a scheme to delay, hinder, and defraud creditors. Denies automatic stay protections regarding certain creditors' enforcement actions against real property for a specified period following a prior order in bankruptcy which forbade the debtor from being a debtor in another bankruptcy case.

(Sec. 304) Modifies debtor's duties to mandate specified affirmative actions to be taken by a chapter 7 debtor, including reaffirmation of the debt, or redemption of the property within 45 days, in order to retain possession of personal property. Allows a creditor to take action with respect to such property under nonbankruptcy law if the debtor fails to act within 45 days, unless the court determines upon trustee motion that such property is consequential value or benefit to the estate.

(Sec. 305) Declares that the automatic stay is terminated regarding property of the debtor's estate securing a claim or subject to an unexpired lease, if the debtor fails to complete an intended surrender of consumer debt collateral within a revised, accelerated time frame (unless the court determines upon trustee motion that such property is of consequential value or benefit to the estate).

(Sec. 306) Instructs the bankruptcy court to confirm a chapter 13 plan if it provides that the holder of a secured allowed claim shall retain the attendant lien until payment or discharge of all debts.

Provides that if a chapter 13 proceeding is dismissed or converted without completion of the plan, the holder shall retain such lien to the extent recognized by applicable nonbankruptcy law.

Provides that statutory guidelines to determine the secured status of a creditor's claim do not apply if the underlying debt was incurred within the five-year period preceding the filing of the bankruptcy petition and the collateral for that debt consists of a motor vehicle acquired for the debtor's personal use (or if the collateral consists of any other thing of value if the debt was incurred during the six- month period preceding such filing).

(Sec. 307)Increases from 180 to 730 days the length of a debtor's location of domicile for purposes of determining which State law governs the debtor's selection of property exempt from the bankrupt estate.

(Sec. 308) Reduces the value of homestead exemption and debtor's burial plot to the extent it is attributable to any portion of any property that is disposed by the debtor within the 730-day period ending on the bankruptcy petition filing date with the intent to obstruct or defraud a creditor, and that the debtor could not exempt.

(Sec. 309) Revamps prescriptions governing the effects of conversion from chapter 13 to another chapter. Declares that: 1) valuations of property and of allowed secured claims in a chapter 13 case shall not apply in a case converted to chapter 7; and (2) with respect to cases converted from chapter 13, the claim of any creditor holding security as of the date of the petition shall continue to be secured by that security unless the full amount of that claim, as determined under applicable nonbankruptcy law, has been paid in full as of the date of conversion. States that a prebankruptcy default shall have the effect given under applicable nonbankruptcy law unless it has been fully cured pursuant to the plan at the time of conversion.

Provides for a chapter 7 debtor's assumption of executory contracts and unexpired leases of personal property. Declares that in a chapter 11 case in which the debtor is an individual, and in a chapter 13 case, if the lease is not assumed in the plan, it is rejected (and no longer subject to an automatic stay) as of the plan's confirmation date.

Delineates a cash payment plan for chapter 13 debtors for payments to any lessor of personal property and to any creditor holding a claim secured by personal property to ensure adequate protection to the claim holder during the payment period.

(Sec. 310) Reduces from the threshold amounts of luxury goods and consumer credit cash advances presumed nondischargeable in bankruptcy, if acquired within 90 days and 70 days, respectively (currently 60 days) before an order for relief is issued.

(Sec. 311) Precludes an automatic stay of any eviction, unlawful detainer action, or similar proceeding by a lessor against a debtor involving residential real property in which: (1) the debtor resides and has not paid rent after the commencement and during the course of the case; (2) the rental agreement has terminated; (3) the debtor has previously filed within the last year and failed to pay post-petition rent during the course of that case; or (4) eviction actions are based upon endangerment to property or person or the use of illegal drugs.

(Sec. 312) Extends the period between chapter 7 discharges to eight years, and between chapter 13 discharges to five years.

(Sec. 314) Declares nondischargeable in bankruptcy: (1) debts intentionally incurred to pay a nondischargeable debt with the intent to discharge the newly-created debt; and (2) all debts incurred to pay nondischargeable debts, without regard to intent, if incurred within 70 days of the filing of the petition.

Treats a debt incurred to pay child or spousal support as a dischargable debt (in order to preclude such support from having to compete with the nondischargeable debt).

Revamps Chapter 13 debt discharge guidelines. Prohibits discharge from a debt for restitution or damages awarded in a civil action against the debtor for willful or malicious injury that caused personal injury or death of an individual.

(Sec. 315) Prescribes notice procedures for chapter 7 and chapter 13 creditors.

Expands debtor's duties to require filing with the bankruptcy court: (1) all tax returns; (2) evidence of payments received; (3) monthly net income projections; and (4) anticipated debt or expenditure increases. Permits a chapter 7 or chapter 13 creditor to request the debtor's petition, schedules and statement of affairs, including the debt adjustment plan filed by the debtor. Mandates debtor compliance within five days of such request.

Mandates that, at the time of filing with the taxing authority, a chapter 7 or 13 debtor file with the bankruptcy court specified tax documentation pertaining to the period from case commencement until case termination.

Requires a chapter 13 debtor to file with the court a statement of income and expenditures in the preceding tax year, and monthly net income, showing how calculated.

Makes debtor's mandatory documentation available for inspection and copying to certain bankruptcy officers and any party in interest. Requires debtors to furnish driver's license, passport or other photograph-containing documentation establishing debtor identification.

(Sec. 316) Provides for automatic dismissal if a chapter 7 debtor fails to furnish all mandatory information, or fails to timely file the requisite schedules. Requires the court to order dismissal within five days of a request by a party in interest for the debtor's failure to timely submit requisite documentation.

(Sec. 317) Requires a Chapter 13 confirmation hearing to be held not later than 45 days after the first meeting of creditors.

Mandates filing of a Chapter 13 debt readjustment plan within 90 days of the order for relief. Prohibits such plan (with certain exceptions) from providing for payments over a period that is longer than three years.

(Sec. 319) Expresses the sense of the Congress that rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure should include a requirement that all debtors' documents be submitted to the court only after debtors have made reasonable inquiry to verify that all information therein is well grounded in fact, and warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for extension, modification or reversal of existing law.

(Sec. 320) Revises automatic stay guidelines to provide that in the case of an individual filing under chapters 7, 11, or 13, the automatic stay shall terminate 60 days after a request for its release by a party in interest, unless the court orders or the parties agree to a longer time.

Title IV: General and Small Business Bankruptcy Provisions - Subtitle A: General Business Bankruptcy Provisions - Revises circumstances under which enforcement of rights and remedies of a secured party in either rolling stock equipment, or aircraft equipment and vessels, is subject to the automatic stay.

(Sec. 402) Denies a debtor an automatic stay of the commencement of an investigation or action by a securities self-regulatory organization to enforce compliance with its regulations, or of the enforcement of any order or decision obtained by such an organization, other than for monetary sanctions.

(Sec. 403) Authorizes the bankruptcy court, upon request of a party in interest, to order that the U.S. trustee not convene a meeting of creditors or equity security holders if the debtor has filed a plan for which acceptances have been solicited before commencement of the case.

(Sec. 405) Amends guidelines for rejection and surrender of executory contracts and unexpired leases.

(Sec. 407) Prohibits the bankruptcy trustee from avoiding a warehouseman's lien for costs incidental to the storage and handling of certain goods.

(Sec. 409) Directs the bankruptcy court to treat the compensation awarded a trustee as a commission based on the results achieved.

(Sec. 410) States that acceptance or rejection of a chapter 11 plan may be solicited from a holder of a claim or interest if: (1) the solicitation complies with applicable nonbankruptcy law; and (2) it was made before commencement of the case in a manner complying with applicable nonbankruptcy law.

(Sec. 411) Prohibits the bankruptcy trustee from avoiding a transfer if, in a case filed by a debtor whose debts are not primarily consumer debts, the aggregate value of all property that constitutes or is affected by such transfer is less than $5,000.

(Sec. 413) Limits the extensions of time permitted for filing a chapter 11 reorganization plan.

(Sec. 414) Denies a discharge in bankruptcy for a debt for a fee or assessment arising from a debtor's interest in a lot in a homeowners association for as long as the debtor retains specified interests in such lot.

(Sec. 415) Authorizes a creditor holding a consumer debt to participate in a meeting of creditors in a chapter 7 or 13 case, either alone or in conjunction with an attorney.

(Sec. 416) Amends the Federal judicial code to revise the requirement that a chapter 11 debtor pay quarterly fees to the U.S. Trustee for disbursements made during a quarter. Requires debtors with disbursements of less than $300,000 to pay such fee only until the case is converted or plan confirmation is obtained, whichever occurs first.

(Sec. 417) Removes investment bankers from the definition of "disinterested person."

Subtitle B: Small Business Bankruptcy Provisions - Sets forth mandatory factors for court consideration in determining whether the disclosure statement regarding a small business reorganization plan provides adequate information.

(Sec. 422) Defines a small business debtor, generally, as a person (including a debtor affiliate) with not more than $4 million in aggregate non-contingent, liquidated secured and unsecured debts as of the date of the petition or the order for relief (excluding debts owed to one or more affiliates or insiders).

(Sec. 423) Directs the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference (Advisory Committee) to propose for adoption standardized disclosure statements and plans of reorganization for small business debtors.

(Sec. 424) Sets forth uniform national reporting requirements for small business debtors.

(Sec. 425) Directs the Advisory Committee to propose for adoption revisions to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Official Bankruptcy Forms enabling small business debtors to comply with such uniform national reporting requirements.

(Sec. 426) Sets forth duties and administrative procedures in small business reorganization cases, including serial filer provisions and expanded grounds for dismissal or conversion and appointment of a trustee.

(Sec. 434) Directs the Small Business Administration to study and report to the Congress on: (1) the factors that cause small businesses to become debtors in bankruptcy; and (2) how Federal bankruptcy laws can be made more efficient in assisting small businesses to retain their viability.

(Sec. 435) Revises the circumstance where a debtor has commenced monthly payments to each secured interest creditor to allow the debtor, in the debtor's sole discretion, to make such payments from rents or other income generated before or after the commencement of the case by or from the property. Requires such payments in an amount equal to the interest on the value of the creditor's interest in the real estate, determined at the then-applicable contract rate of interest (currently, at the fair market rate).

Title V: Municipal Bankruptcy Provisions - Makes technical amendments to requirements for a municipal bankruptcy petition.

Title VI: Improved Bankruptcy Statistics and Data - Requires each U.S. trustee to report to the Attorney General on audit results. Requires the Attorney General to establish random audits of individual cases.

(Sec. 601) Amends the Federal judicial code to require the clerk of each district to compile bankruptcy statistics for individual debtors with primarily consumer debts seeking relief under chapters 7, 11, and 13. Directs the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (Administrative Office) to make such statistics public and to report them annually to the Congress.

(Sec. 603) Instructs the Attorney General to promulgate requirements for uniform forms for: (1) final reports by trustees in cases under chapters 7, 12, and 13; and (2) periodic reports by chapter 11 debtors or trustees in possession. Prescribes report contents.

(Sec. 604) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the national policy should be that: (1) all public record data held in electronic form by bankruptcy clerks should be released in electronic form in bulk to the public subject to appropriate privacy concerns and safeguards as the Judicial Conference of the United States may determine; and (2) a bankruptcy data system should be established in which a single set of data definitions are used to collect data nationwide, and in which all data for any particular bankruptcy case are aggregated in the same electronic record.

Title VII: Bankruptcy Tax Provisions - Amends the bankruptcy code to modify the treatment of certain tax liens.

(Sec. 702) Requires a debtor indebted to a governmental unit to furnish specified information concerning such debt, including the underlying basis for the governmental unit's claim. Requires the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference to propose for adoption enhanced rules for providing notice to Federal, State, and local government units that have regulatory authority over the debtor or which may be creditors in the debtor's case.

(Sec. 704) Prescribes the rate of interest to be paid on mandatory interest payments on tax claims.

(Sec. 705) Revises the specifications for income tax claims receiving eighth priority (allowed unsecured claims of governmental units). Provides for tolling of the time periods covering such tax claims for stays of proceedings in a prior bankruptcy case, and the pendency or effect of offers in compromise or installment agreements.

(Sec. 708) States that confirmation of a bankruptcy plan does not discharge a corporate debtor from any debt for a tax or customs duty with respect to which the debtor made a fraudulent return or willfully attempted to evade or defeat such tax.

(Sec. 709) Amends the automatic stay of U.S. Tax Court proceedings concerning the debtor to restrict such stay to tax liability for a taxable period ending before the order for relief. States that the filing of a bankruptcy petition does not operate as a stay of an appeal from a judicial or administrative determination of the debtor's tax liability without regard to whether such determination was made prepetition or postpetition. (Sec. 710) Includes among the requirements for court confirmation of a chapter 11 bankruptcy plan which includes tax claims, that the debtor, at the minimum, make regular cash installment payments, but in no case with a balloon provision, and no more than three months apart, beginning no later than the effective date of the plan and ending on the earlier of five years after the petition date or the last date payments are to be made under the plan to unsecured creditors.

(Sec. 711) Prohibits the avoidance of statutory tax liens by certain purchasers.

(Sec. 712) Amends the Federal judicial code to require officers and agents conducting any business under court authority to pay all Federal, State and local taxes when due in the course of the business, unless it is a property tax secured by a lien against estate property which is abandoned by the bankruptcy trustee, or payment of the tax is excused under a specific bankruptcy law. Cites circumstances in which payment of such taxes may be deferred in a case pending under chapter 7 until final distribution is made.

Entitles to administrative expense priority payment certain secured and postpetition unsecured taxes incurred by the bankruptcy estate, including ad valorem property taxes.

Declares that a governmental unit shall not be required to file a request for the payment of administrative expenses relating to a tax liability or tax penalty.

Allows a trustee to recover from property securing a claim for the payment of all ad valorem property taxes relating to such property.

(Sec. 713) Requires as a condition for payment of tardily filed priority tax claims that they be filed either before the trustee commences distribution or ten days following the mailing to creditors of the summary of the trustee's final report, whichever is earlier (currently, before the trustee commences distribution of the estate).

(Sec. 714) Makes nondischargeable any obligations based on income tax returns prepared by tax authorities.

(Sec. 715) Declares that an estate's liability for unpaid tax is discharged upon payment of such tax according to certain requirements.

(Sec. 716) Conditions court confirmation of a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan upon filing by the debtor: (1) of all prepetition tax returns; and (2) before the day on which the first meeting of the creditors is convened, of all tax returns for taxable periods ending in the three-year period that ends on the date of the filing of the petition. Authorizes the court to dismiss a plan, if a chapter 13 debtor fails to comply with such time frame.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Advisory Committee on bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference should propose for adoption amended Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure pertaining to objections to tax claims and to plan confirmation.

(Sec. 717) Redefines "adequate disclosure," for postpetition disclosure and solicitation purposes, to include full discussion of the potential material Federal and State tax consequences of the plan to the debtor and to a hypothetical investor domiciled in the State in which the debtor resides or has its principal place of business typical of the holders of claims or interests in the case.

(Sec. 718) Denies an automatic stay, unless specified conditions are met, to the setoff of an income tax refund for a taxable period which ended before the order for relief against an income tax liability for a taxable period which also ended before the order for relief.

Title VIII: Ancillary and Other Cross-Border Cases - Expands the scope of bankruptcy law to incorporate the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, and to establish a statutory mechanism for: (1) dealing with cases of cross-border insolvency; and (2) cooperation between U.S. courts, trustees, and debtors and their foreign counterparts. Prescribes guidelines for: (1)access by foreign representatives and creditors to Federal and State courts; (2) recognition of a foreign proceeding and relief; (3) cooperation and direct communication with foreign courts and representatives; and (4) concurrent proceedings and the coordination of foreign and domestic proceedings.

Title IX: Financial Contract Provisions - Amends Federal bankruptcy provisions to: (1) deny an automatic stay to set-offs under certain swap agreements and netting agreements; and (2) restrict the avoidance power of the bankruptcy trustee regarding certain master netting agreement transfers to those transfers that are fraudulent in NATURE.

Sets forth statutory guidelines for: (1) the termination or acceleration of designated contracts and agreements; and (2) commodity broker and stockbroker liquidation with respect to the priority of unsecured claims, or customer property or distributions.

(Sec. 902) Specifies the date for the measure of damages in connection with: (1) rejection by the bankruptcy trustee of designated contracts and agreements relating to executory contracts and unexpired leases; or (2) the liquidation, acceleration, or termination of such contracts and agreements.

(Sec. 903) Declares that property of the bankrupt estate does not include any eligible asset (or its proceeds) to the extent that it was transferred by the debtor before commencement of the case to an eligible entity in connection with an asset-backed securitization (except to the extent that such asset, or its proceeds or value, may be recovered through avoidance by the bankruptcy trustee).

Title X: Protection of Family Farmers - Amends the Federal bankruptcy provisions to: (1) reenact Chapter 12, Adjustment of Debts of a Family Farmer with Regular Annual Income, (thereby reinstating family farmer bankruptcy relief); (2) define a family farmer as one whose gross income of more than 50 percent from a farming operation was received during at least one of the three taxable years preceding the taxable year in which the bankruptcy petition was filed (thus relaxing eligibility criteria from one year to three years); and (3) cite circumstances under which the claim of a governmental unit that arises as a result of the disposition of a farm asset used in the debtor's farming operation shall be treated as an unsecured claim that is not entitled to priority.

Title XI: Technical Amendments - Makes technical corrections to Federal bankruptcy, judicial, and criminal law.

Redefines single asset real estate to exclude family farms and to repeal the $4 million ceiling on the amount of noncontingent, liquidated secured debts on such property. Defines the term "transfer" to include: (1) creation of a lien; (2) retention of title as a security interest; (3) foreclosure of the debtor's equity of redemption; and (4) every mode of disposing of property or parting with an interest in property.

(Sec. 1102) Requires triennial adjustment of: (1) the $5,000 value of certain implements, professional books, tools of the trade, farm animals, and crops which a debtor may exempt from the property of the estate (protecting them from creditors' liens); and (2) the national median household income calculated monthly.

(Sec. 1106) Provides that a trustee or a creditors' and equity security holders' committee may pay a professional person they employ on a fixed or percentage fee basis, as well as on other bases already permitted.

(Sec. 1109) Excludes from compensable professional services any expenses incurred by an individual member of a creditors' and equity security holders' committee.

(Sec. 1111) Revises the prohibition against debtor avoidance of certain judicial liens in connection with a liability designated as, and actually in the nature of, alimony, maintenance, or support.

(Sec. 1110) Declares nondischargeable in bankruptcy a debt for death or personal injury caused by the debtor's operation of a watercraft or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol, a drug, or other substance. Limits the nondischargeability of fees imposed by a court to fees so imposed on a prisoner.

(Sec. 1114) Revises guidelines governing preferences to provide that, if the trustee avoids a security interest given between 90 days and one year before the date of the filing of the petition, by the debtor to a non-insider for the benefit of a creditor that is an insider, then such security interest shall be considered to be avoided only with respect to the insider creditor.

(Sec. 1123) Permits the bankruptcy trustee to sell, use, or lease property in accordance with nonbankruptcy law governing the transfer of property by nonprofit charitable corporations, if doing so is not inconsistent with certain relief granted under the automatic stay.

(Sec. 1124) Extends from 20 to 30 days the length of time after a debtor receives possession of property for perfection of a security interest in such property created by a transfer which the trustee may not avoid.

(Sec. 1126) Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 1999 - Amends the Federal judicial code to mandate appointments for additional temporary bankruptcy judgeships in California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. Provides that the first vacancy occurring in such district five years or more after a judge is appointed under this Act shall not be filled.

Extends temporary bankruptcy judgeship positions authorized for the northern district of Alabama, the eastern district of Tennessee, and the districts of Delaware, Puerto Rico, and South Carolina.

Directs each chief bankruptcy judge to report annually to the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on the travel expenses of each bankruptcy judge assigned to the applicable district.

Title XII: General Effective Date; Application of Amendments - Sets forth the effective date of this Act and the application of its amendments.