Comparative Consumer Bankruptcy

COMPARATIVE CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY, Carolina Academic Press, August 2007

13 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2007

See all articles by Jason J. Kilborn

Jason J. Kilborn

University of Illinois Chicago School of Law


This book explores the rapidly evolving law of individual insolvency. As consumer borrowing and spending play a greater role in fueling worldwide economic growth, more and more countries are dealing with the casualties of the "democratization of credit" and the "open credit economy." Drawing on both primary sources of formal law and empirical studies of the law in action, this book offers an overview of how the law of consumer "overindebtedness" has played out in the last two decades in the United States and Europe and where it appears to be headed today. While the focus here is on law and practice, the questions for discussion at the end of each chapter might spawn deeper theoretical and policy explorations of the ambivalent relationship of societies to their financially overextended consumers and the ambiguous state of contract law in the consumer context in the 21st century.

Chapter 1 sets the stage by introducing the challenges and methodology of a comparative approach to this area of the law. Chapter 2 explores the varying form and role of "credit counseling" and pre-bankruptcy negotiation with creditors in the various systems presented. Chapters 3 and 4 compare and contrast the formal consumer insolvency systems in the United States, France, Germany, Austria, England & Wales, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Designed to be short and inexpensive yet dense with information and ideas for discussion, this book is intended for use in a small unit of a larger course. For example, it might be used in a Comparative Law course, using consumer insolvency law to illustrate many of the challenges of comparative law analysis, or in a Bankruptcy course, using a variety of European approaches and their development over time to enlighten and challenge students' appreciation of the operation of the U.S. system.

Note: File contains only cover, contents, and prefatory material.

Keywords: comparative law, bankruptcy, consumer debt, consumer finance

Suggested Citation

Kilborn, Jason J., Comparative Consumer Bankruptcy. COMPARATIVE CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY, Carolina Academic Press, August 2007, Available at SSRN:

Jason J. Kilborn (Contact Author)

University of Illinois Chicago School of Law ( email )

300 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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