58 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2023
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
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