A Tale Of Two Debtors: Responding to the Shock of Over‐Indebtedness in France and England – A Story from the Trente Piteuses

37 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2012

See all articles by Iain D. C. Ramsay

Iain D. C. Ramsay

University of Kent - Kent Law School

Date Written: March 2012

Abstract

England and France have developed distinct treatment systems to address the shock of a substantial increase in over‐indebted individuals since the mid‐1980s. In France, Over‐Indebtedness Commissions, with the Bank of France playing a central role in their management, now dominate the system. A more fragmented system of private and public providers of remedies developed in England, with innovation driven by private actors modifying existing commercial procedures and increased access to bankruptcy relief a side‐effect of government promotion of entrepreneurialism. This article explains the differences between these countries in terms of the influence of interest groups, including state actors, and ideologies. Historical contingency also plays a role. The distinct responses were not hard‐wired to legal origins and the article argues that analysis of the interaction of interest groups, state actors and ideology in shaping institutions, which in turn structure future change, provides a productive approach for future comparative research in this area.

Keywords: Consumer Bankruptcy, Comparative Law, Consumer Law, Credit and Debt, French law, Insolvency

Suggested Citation

Ramsay, Iain D. C., A Tale Of Two Debtors: Responding to the Shock of Over‐Indebtedness in France and England – A Story from the Trente Piteuses (March 2012). Modern Law Review, Vol. 75, No. 2, March 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2014562 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.2012.00897.x

Iain D. C. Ramsay (Contact Author)

University of Kent - Kent Law School ( email )

Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NS
United Kingdom

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