To recap the status of the bankruptcy exemption bills: The Assembly and Senate passed S. 7034A, the major bill updating bankruptcy and judgment exemptions in New York, in June, but the bill has not been sent to the Governor. When New York City objected to extending the motor vehicle exemption to non-bankruptcy judgment debtors, the State Senate passed a companion ball, S. 8451, on August 4 excluding the state and its municipalities from this particular exemption. The Assembly has not acted on S. 8451 (its Assembly alter-ego is A11677) and has not been in session since August 4.
The Governor of New York has called the State legislature into an “Extraordinary Session” November 29. According to the staff at one local Assembly Member’s office, the only issues that can be dealt with in an “Extraordinary Session” are those designated by the Governor. Governor Patterson has issued a proclamation stating the items he wishes the legislature to deal with, and the “little” bankruptcy bill (S. 8451) is not on his list. My understanding is that the Assembly must meet in “Regular Session” to deal with any items not on the Governor’s agenda. There are lots of leftover bills passed by one chamber but not the other, similar to S. 8451, so it is entirely likely that the Assembly will convert their session from Wxtraordinary to Regular.
One source in the New York State Senate has told me that it is expected that the Governor will sign the bankruptcy bills when presented to him; but a source from the Assembly says that the Governor’s position is not certain. The Counsel’s Office for the Governor refused to take my phone call. However, I do understand that many, many bankruptcy practitioners and others have been calling the legislature asking about the status of the bills and supporting their passage. I, myself, mailed the Governor’s Office my own letter of support, along with my legal research into the history of bankruptcy exemptions.
One way or another we will know what’s what by the end of December.