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Your Divorce Advisor

YDA Newsletter #2

As fate would have it, as soon as I send out Your Divorce Advisor Newsletter #1, an urgent piece of news comes across my desk which may affect many of you........I promise that the Newsletters will be less frequent in the future!

If you like our newsletter, and if you like our book, please tell your friends about it. Word-of-mouth is important for a book like ours, because helping people with simple, sane solutions and practical, down-to-earth information isn't always splashy enough for TV and magazines.

It's people like you, one at a time, helping one another, that helps to get the word out….and we thank you for that!

Very truly yours,
Diana Mercer, Esq., and Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., M.S.L.
authors of Your Divorce Advisor
available at and booksellers everywhere.

There is a bankruptcy bill (on the verge of becoming law) which will drastically limit the ability to discharge credit card debt in bankruptcy, and force many consumers into Chapter 13 repayment plans, rather than filing "full discharge" Chapter 7 bankruptcies.

If this is an issue in your divorce or your life, now's the time to address it. Bankruptcy is a serious matter which can affect your life in ways far beyond your credit report.

It can affect your ability to rent an apartment, get a job, get insurance coverage, and to buy a home, to name a few. It's not something to be taken lightly, but for many people who go through a divorce, it's the best choice of several not-so-great options.

Senate Bill S. 420, concerning the virtual elimination of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, has been passed, as has a similar bill in the House of Representatives. Once it's out of conference committee, it's expected to be signed into law by President Bush, and to become effective 6 months later.

If you have been considering bankruptcy, now is the time to consult with a Bankruptcy lawyer. He or she can discuss your options and help you pick the best solution.

If this is an issue in your divorce or your life, now's the time to address it. The bill is expected to go into effect (if passed) very quickly. The article which follows below is a reprint from the American Bar Association's Small Law Firms Section Newsgroup.

Diana Mercer, Esq.
Co-Author, Your Divorce Advisor : A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and
Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Fireside 2001)

Pending Bankruptcy Legislation (Senate bill S. 420)
A full list of the amendments considered to date is located on the homepage of ABI World.

Bankruptcy Bill May Lead to Surge in Filings
As legislation to tighten the rules for filing for bankruptcy gathers momentum in Congress, consumers facing a financial squeeze are being advised to act sooner rather than later, according to The New York Times. Lawyers say they are cautioning clients not to delay, and some are running advertisements.

Those actions and a continued weakening of the economy are likely to contribute to a surge in filings this year.

"It would be imprudent not to advise people that the legislation will make the process more cumbersome," said David Shaev, a Manhattan consumer bankruptcy lawyer. A current New York radio advertisement asks:

"Have you thought about filing for personal bankruptcy? You may be well advised to make that decision right now, before the bankruptcy law is amended. Now could be your last opportunity to receive relief under the current law."

Samuel J. Gerdano, Executive Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, said, "It's ironic that the purpose of the law is to reduce bankruptcy filings." The legislation would make it harder for individuals to walk away from their obligations if they have the means to pay at least some of their credit card bills or other debts.

After being rejected by President Bill Clinton, it was revived this year under the new administration. The House passed it last week, and last night the Senate was sorting through proposed amendments to the bill, which, if passed, President Bush is expected to sign.

"My chapter 7 business is up 25 percent so far this year," said Barbara Wyskowski, a consumer bankruptcy lawyer based in Sea Girt, N.J. Wyskowski predicts that business will pick up more if the law is passed. Robert A. Goering Sr., a consumer bankruptcy lawyer in Cincinnati, said, "I'd expect a 10 to15 percent increase in bankruptcy filings if the law passes in the six months preceding its implementation.

Then I'd expect a dramatic decline after it becomes effective." The bill's House sponsor, George W. Gekas (R-Pa.), said he was disappointed in the legal advisers.

"I think it's an awful commentary on our society when people are advised to go bankrupt as fast as they can," he said. "Every time somebody files for bankruptcy, everybody else in the country pays for it one way or another."