Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Abstract

In 2003, over 1.6 million consumers filed for bankruptcy protection, surpassing the previous record of 1.5 million bankruptcy filings set just one year earlier.1 In an effort to reverse the spiraling upward trend of consumer bankruptcies, and to prevent abusive debtors from using the bankruptcy system to avoid paying their debts,2 in April, 2005, Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of passing the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA).3 Widely heralded as the most sweeping bankruptcy reform legislation in over a quarter of a century,4 BAPCPA was designed in large part to force debtors with the ability to pay their debts out of Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy and into Chapter 13, the Bankruptcy Code's rehabilitation provision.5 In addition, the Act sought to prevent certain abusive bankruptcy practices, such as the unfettered use of serial filings6 and debtors' abuse of Chapter 13's cramdown provisions to strip down secured debts incurred shortly before filing for bankruptcy protection.

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