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AFSA HAILS SENATE PASSAGE OF BANKRUPTCY BILL

 AFSA HAILS SENATE PASSAGE OF BANKRUPTCY BILL
 WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- "The Senate's unanimous


passage of a bankruptcy bill represents an important step in making much-needed changes in the bankruptcy law," said Frank M. Salinger, vice president, general counsel, and director of government affairs for the American Financial Services Association (AFSA).
 Salinger was commenting on passage June 17, 1992, of S.1985 by a vote of 97-0.
 "This legislation comes at a critical time," Salinger said, "as personal bankruptcies continue to skyrocket." First quarter 1992 personal bankruptcy filings reached 233,973. "At this rate, filings will hit 1 million this year," he said.
 Salinger said that the legislation, introduced by Sens. Howell Heflin (D-Ala.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), "will do much to improve the current bankruptcy system by addressing many problems currently faced by both debtors and creditors. We commend Senators Heflin and Grassley for this achievement."
 In particular he pointed to Title III of the bill, which ensures that debtors will know the options available to them so that they can make an informed choice between Chapter 7 -- straight discharge of debt -- and Chapter 13 -- a court-approved repayment plan. According to Salinger, this is not being done on a regular basis.
 Other major changes include:
 -- Creates a Bankruptcy Review Commission to study the law over a
 two-year period and suggest changes.
 -- Increases eligibility limits for Chapter 13 relief from
 $450,000 to $1 million in aggregate secured and unsecured
 debt.
 -- Prohibits "cramdown" of primary mortgages and of junior
 mortgages to the extent that they were secured by equity when
 originally contracted.
 -- Protects pensions so that they will not be liquidated as part
 of the bankruptcy estate.
 -- Doubles the dollar amount for federal exemptions in
 bankruptcy.
 Salinger noted that a similar bill introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Synar (D-Okla.), H.R. 5321, "deserves prompt action."
 Founded in 1916, the American Financial Services Association is the national trade association for non-banking providers of consumer financial services. AFSA is a member of the National Consumer Bankruptcy Coalition, which has sought congressional review of the Bankruptcy Code of 1978.
 -0- 6/18/92
 /CONTACT: Frances Smith of American Financial Services Association, 202-296-5544/ CO: American Financial Services Association ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU: LEG


IH -- DC010 -- 1509 06/18/92 12:24 EDT
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Date:Jun 18, 1992
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