Bankruptcy Overload

58 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2023

See all articles by Laura Coordes

Laura Coordes

Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: January 7, 2023


The bankruptcy system is overloaded. Those who use it, whether debtors or non-debtors, frequently seek to extract more out of a bankruptcy than the process can, practically and legally, provide. The goals and boundaries of bankruptcy law have always been subject to debate, making the system particularly susceptible to taking on more than it can bear. This Article defines and explains the concept of bankruptcy overload, illustrating that many of the problems currently plaguing the bankruptcy system derive from overloading it. In addition, although overloading the system may create problems in individual cases, this Article shows that bankruptcy overload is systemically harmful, and that failure to recognize and address it will undermine the system’s long-term utility. Those seeking changes to bankruptcy law must be aware of the system’s capacity constraints. In addition to defining bankruptcy overload and identifying its harms, the Article illuminates ways to address many of the issues present in bankruptcy today while being cognizant of the effect of changes to bankruptcy law on the system as a whole.

Keywords: bankruptcy, chapter 11, debtor-creditor law

Suggested Citation

Coordes, Laura, Bankruptcy Overload (January 7, 2023). Georgia Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Laura Coordes (Contact Author)

Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
100 S. McAllister Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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