La Responsabilisation De L'Economie: What the United States Can Learn from the New French Law on Consumer Overindebtedness
53 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2005
This Article offers a new perspective on consumer bankruptcy reform, which continues to be the subject of fierce debate in the U.S. France introduced consumer debt relief into its consumer protection law 15 years ago, and the multi-stage development of this relief offers many lessons and insights for U.S. policymakers. Beginning with a description of the legal and market forces that created a consumer debt crisis in France, this Article analyzes the French law on Consumer Overindebtedness, both as it stands in the law books, and how it has played out in practice. The law in books has often differed quite dramatically from the law in action in this system in important and intriguing ways. From this examination, this Article extracts several lessons for U.S. law reformers. Most importantly, French law has achieved a more balanced and coherent approach to responsibility, which seems to be the driving concept in the most recent U.S. reform movement and will likely continue to motivate future reforms.
Keywords: Consumer bankruptcy, comparative law, French law, consumer protection
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