WASHINGTON-With the Oct. 17 deadline looming for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act to become effective, the American Bankers Association released a guide Aug. 9 to help interested parties wade through the more than 500-page law. “There is much more to this reform than just the means test,” ABA President and CEO Edward L. Yingling commented. “Secured lenders should know about new guidelines for reaffirming home mortgages, agricultural lenders will want to know about family farmer bankruptcy changes, and all lenders need to know about new disclosures and increased penalties for abusive creditor practices.” ABA attempts to simplify the complex law with plain-English, flow charts and quick tips in its 73-page guide. An addendum includes Web sites of government agencies involved with the law’s implementation; government data used in the needs-based test, such as state-by-state median-income figures; and a glossary of bankruptcy terms. The guide also includes tips for explaining the law to customers and a statement stuffer. “The implementation of the new law will be very important in determining its effectiveness, so we’ll be watching that process very carefully,” Yingling stated. “With the information in this guide, bankers will be able to monitor their local bankruptcy courts to see how the law’s being carried out.”

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