On August 23, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act (the “HAVEN Act”). Congress stated that the HAVEN Act’s purpose is to correct an “obvious inequity” in title 11 of the United States Code (the “Bankruptcy Code”) as it relates to veterans. The HAVEN Act is silent as to whether it applies retroactively. Certain courts, however, have explored the idea that it should apply to cases pending as of the HAVEN Act’s enactment.
This memorandum analyzes whether the HAVEN Act can be applied retroactively or only to cases filed following its enactment. Part I examines the HAVEN Act itself, Part II examines the legislative history surrounding the HAVEN Act, and Part III examines the Landgraf test and its application to the HAVEN Act.