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Killing with Kindness: The Myth of "Consumer Protection" in the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

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Killing with Kindness: The Myth of "Consumer Protection" in the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

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Title: Killing with Kindness: The Myth of "Consumer Protection" in the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005
Author: Romero, Margaret
Subject: Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Law
Bankruptcy Reform
Consumer Debt
Consumer Protection
Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act (2005)
Abstract: The United States Congress considered bankruptcy reform for eight years before George W. Bush signed the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BACPA") into law on April 20, 2005. Congressional proponents alleged that rampant and abusive practices required substantial reform measures to combat a staggering economic crisis that burdened every honest citizen. Bankruptcy reform offered the promise of "greater stability and fairness" in the American financial system. BACPA supporters promised that the massive reform measures were designed to curb abusive practices while protecting innocent consumers. However, despite apparently decent and compassionate intentions, some consumer protection measures may have the unintended result of penalizing the truly honest debtor. This article discusses how certain mechanisms, designed tozprotect consumers, impose unintended barriers to critical relief. The article also discusses how reform measures, intended to curb abusive practices, impose hardships on debtors fielding the system most. The specific code provision are identified and explained, and the intended goals, as expressed in the legislative history, are analyzed and compared to the practical or actual result. The author also offers ameliorative proposals to ensure that the "consumer protection" provisions of the act realize the promise that BACPA will "protect those who legitimately need help."
Date: 2006-04-19
Description: 32 p. ; This student paper has been awarded the 2006 Don G. McCormick Prize.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/3385


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