A Brief History of U.S. Bankruptcy Law & Policy for Consumers and Businesses
GOVERNING AMERICA: MAJOR POLICIES AND DECISIONS OF FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, Paul J. Quirk, William Cunion, eds., Facts on File, 2009
12 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2008 Last revised: 15 Dec 2008
Date Written: November 16, 2008
In 2009, Facts on File will release a major scholarly reference work on public policy in the United States, a three-volume collection entitled Governing America: Major Policies and Decisions of Federal, State, and Local Government. The work will deal with approximately 150 areas of public policy, ranging from abortion to monetary policy, and space exploration to bilingual education, covering not only landmark statutes and major programs at the federal level, but also key executive and judicial decisions and some important policies of state and local governments. This paper is the contribution on bankruptcy law and policy. Beginning with an overview of the goals and policies of bankruptcy in the United States, it traces the development of key issues such as federalism (with the rise of a unified federal bankruptcy law in the 1800s), separation of powers (especially in the allocation of judicial power to the new Bankruptcy Courts in the 1980s), the growing pains in the 1990s relating to both consumer and business bankruptcy, and the most salient themes of the reforms of 2005, especially in terms of their impact on bankruptcy judges, bankruptcy lawyers, and individual debtors. The contribution concludes on a positive note with observations about the renewed U.S. dedication to international cooperation in the new Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code.
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