Empty Mandate or Opportunity for Innovation? Pre-Petition Credit Counseling and Post-Petition Financial Management Education
24 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2006
This article critiques two of the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code - one related to pre-bankruptcy counseling and the other related to post-filing debtor education. The article questions whether, when one looks beneath the surface, these new mandates actually improve the lives of consumer debtors. There are plenty of statutory requirements accompanying these new initiatives but these particularized requirements do not address the most critical issues, including establishing the goals of the counseling and education and the content of the required programming. In addition, we fear that the mandates will simply be an added cost of entering and exiting the bankruptcy system without providing concomitant benefits. That would mean we have created an empty mandate. We also provide suggestions for improvement that are feasible and do not require statutory amendment yet again.
Keywords: bankruptcy, financial education, credit counseling, money management, legislative change and predatory practices
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