The HAVEN Act: Understanding the Intricacies of the Act and Its Application to Military and Nonmilitary Clients

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 71 minutes
Recorded Date: February 26, 2020
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        • The HAVEN Act
                - Background
                - The Text
                - New CMI (Current Monthly Income) Exclusion List
                - The Application Process
        • 2019 Bankruptcy Code Amendments
        • Common Direct and Indirect Financial Resources
        • Legal Protections
        • Pre-Bankruptcy Special Considerations

Runtime: 1 hour, 11 minutes
Recorded: February 26, 2020


Signed into law on August 23, 2019, the “Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act of 2019” grants significant relief to consumer debtors that have military ties. Are you up to speed on the HAVEN Act and how to use it in your practice? This panel of experts will discuss the events leading up to the HAVEN Act’s passage, the new exemption from Current Monthly Income created by the Act, suggestions on how to talk with your clients about military or VA benefits and documents, and how the Act applies to your pending cases.

This program was recorded on February 26th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute


William Diggs

DLA Piper

Billy Diggs concentrates his practice in representing companies and individuals in investigations and complex litigation.

Billy is a seasoned litigator who has first or second chaired numerous trials. Billy's experience in investigations includes internal investigations as well as criminal and civil investigations conducted by government agencies, such as the US Department of Justice, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the New York State Attorney General. Billy's civil litigation work includes class actions, complex commercial disputes, and product liability matters.

Prior to entering private practice, Billy served as an active duty US Air Force officer from 2011 to 2015. While in the Air Force, Billy gained substantial experience in investigations and at trial, including first or second chairing numerous trials. Billy initially served as an assistant staff judge advocate, where he worked closely with military investigators in the investigation of offenses allegedly committed by military members and represented the United States as trial counsel in courts-martial. Billy also deployed to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. As his final assignment on active duty, Billy served as an area defense counsel, where he represented military members in criminal investigations, courts-martial, and adverse personnel actions. Billy’s military investigation and trial experience includes cases involving offenses such as rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, aggravated assault, child endangerment, larceny, drug distribution and use, absence without leave, perjury, and conspiracy. Billy received numerous decorations for his military service, including the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.

Since entering private practice in 2015, Billy concentrates his practice in representing companies and individuals in investigations and complex litigation. Billy’s experience in investigations includes internal investigations as well as criminal and civil investigations conducted by government agencies, such as the US Department of Justice, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the New York State Attorney General. Billy’s civil litigation work includes class actions, complex commercial disputes, and product liability matters. From 2015 until 2019, when he joined DLA Piper, Billy worked as an associate in the litigation department at the New York office of a prominent international law firm.

While in law school, Billy served as the Managing Editor of Seton Hall Law Review and worked as an extern with the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and with Justice Jaynee LaVecchia of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Jessica H. Youngberg

Law Clerk
U.S. Bankruptcy Court - District of Massachusetts

Jessica Hopton Youngberg is a Law Clerk at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachussetts. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Veterans Legal Services in Boston, Massachusetts. She was a Skadden Fellow from 2015-2017. She has a long history of public service work including advocacy for active duty service members, veterans and their families. She previously worked with VLS as a summer intern during law school and worked with the Red Cross while living in Korea during her husband’s service in the Army.

Kristina M. Stanger

Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Kristina Stanger hears a call to serve her clients, her country, and her community. Within every achievement, success, and honor, she sees a challenge. “It’s a call to do more,” she says.

She answers her call by assisting clients with bankruptcy, creditors rights, and commercial litigation. “Jokingly, I tell my mom I do ‘deals that go bad,’” she says. However, she is serious about helping clients with business reformation, loan restructuring, collateral and contract disputes, real estate litigation, workouts, asset protection, and dispute resolution.

“I approach life as a servant leader to achieve two ideals: freedom and justice,” Kristina says. “As legal professionals, we are representatives of this branch of government, and this is our charge: to work for the people seeking relief under our laws. Whether it is a simple contract dispute or a large Chapter 11 company reorganization where jobs are on the line, I know this is their day in court. This is their opportunity to access justice—and I am their advocate.”

Following those principles, Kristina helps secured and unsecured creditors in a variety of contexts and industries such as energy, retail, grocery, real estate, agriculture, health care, construction, transportation and manufacturing. She is not afraid to work a resolution from a business, litigation, or legislative perspective. “All tools are on the table,” she says. Kristina knows she may be in the courtroom one day and the boardroom the next.

The first college graduate from her rural DeWitt, Iowa, family, Kristina knew the law was her objective in the second grade. In the fifth grade, she washed dishes at the local Maid-Rite to earn money to participate in mock trial. Her parents supported her goal—as long as she was serving people and found a way to pay for it. “As a small town, hardworking country girl, I have a passion for serving, but I sought a chance to think strategically and solve problems,” she says. “So I became a lawyer.”

In college, a fortuitous meeting with a National Guardsman during a choir trip introduced her to the National Guard. She joined the service eight days later. Now she’s an Army Lieutenant Colonel with more than 20 years of experience. As the Chief of Plans and Operations, Kristina handles strategic planning and military operations for the Iowa Army National Guard.

“That acapella trip to Wales was life-changing because it was the catalyst toward what I am now—not only in both careers, but also in how I approach serving clients, serving my community and what’s important to our family,” Kristina says.

As she has grown in the legal profession, Kristina looked for a comprehensive way to solve problems. She discovered the restructuring profession. “In it, I found the opportunity to use a multidiscipline and creative approach to solving problems with my clients,” she says. Finally, this has become the rewarding profession I sought out since the second grade.”

Hon. Mary Jo Heston

U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Western District of Washington

Mary Jo Heston is a judge on the United States bankruptcy court, Western District of Washington. She was appointed on January 31, 2017, to a term will expire on January 30, 2031.

Keith Larson

Seiller Waterman LLC

Keith J. Larson is a member of the Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Group. He represents debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, equity interest holders, bankruptcy trustees, and acquirers of troubled businesses in a wide variety of bankruptcy and workout matters. Keith has briefed and argued cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits as well as in state appellate courts, including issues of first impression. Keith has also tried numerous bench and jury trials, and has extensive experience litigating adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court.

While attending law school, Keith served as the Deputy Congressional Campaign Manager and Communications Director for John Sarbanes for Congress 2006 and later as a legal extern for United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. Upon graduation, he worked as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Judge Sean D. Wallace in Maryland.

Keith writes and lectures on issues in consumer and business bankruptcy. He is an associate editor of the ABI Journal. In 2017, Keith was recognized by Louisville Business First as 20 People to Know in the Law.

Keith is the supervising and hiring attorney for the firm’s summer associate and law clerk program.

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