Still Chasing Chimeras but Finally Slaying Some Dragons in the Quest for Consumer Bankruptcy Reform
16 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 1, 2010
This paper responds to the question, "how well have reformed regimes of consumer bankruptcy performed." The question was posed for one panel of a conference on the social policy dimensions of regulatory crisis management in the EU and US, hosted by the Social Science Research Centre Berlin. This short paper offers the beginnings of a response by examining six prominent consumer insolvency systems that have undergone reform in the past decade, concentrating on the most salient aspects of these reforms and their effects, particularly the degree to which reforms have moved these systems in a more social policy-oriented direction, concentrating on, e.g., fighting social exclusion. Progressing from worst to best, it begins with the thoroughly misguided and counterproductive US reform of 2005 and ends with the increasingly impressive series of reforms implemented in France in 1999, 2004, and 2010. Between these poles, the examination progresses through reforms in the Netherlands in 2008, Denmark in 2005, Sweden in 2007, and Germany in 2002, charting a steadily increasing ratio of positive to negative design and result, especially with respect to slaying the twin monsters of inefficiency and waste.
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