This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
An additional disadvantage of state insolvent laws is found in the fact that discharges under state bankrupt acts can not affect debts which were contracted before the passage of the state act,1 even if the state act specifically provides for such discharge; since no state can pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts.2
Whether a debt which was originally contracted before the state act was passed, but which was merged in another obligation after the state act was passed, is subject to the operation of a discharge under such state act, is a question upon which there has been some conflict of authority. Debts of this sort,3 includes debts merged in a judgment after the passage of the state statute,4 or debts merged in a new contract after the passage of the state statute.5 They can, however, affect debts which are contracted after the passage of the state act and have been held to be barred by a discharge which was subsequently given under such statute. On the other hand, such law has been held not to be applicable to a debt which was incurred before the law was enacted, although it was reduced to judgment after the law was enacted.6