On April 20, 2005, after nearly a decade of lobbying by the credit industry, President Bush signed the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). The publicly stated goal of BAPCPA was to make bankruptcy less desirable so that debtors would stop abusing the protections of the Bankruptcy Code. Although Congress was motivated by laudable intentions, it is clear that BAPCPA contains at least one good idea that does not work in practice - the credit counseling requirement. Under BAPCPA, a debtor must receive credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy. Not only did Congress fail to instruct judges on the proper way to dispose of debtors who fail to meet the credit counseling requirement, it also failed to consider the best way to educate consumers about debt management. This Note focuses on a recent Missouri case, In re Gee, and concludes that BAPCPA's credit counseling requirement is severely harming debtors who, like Bertha Mae Gee, are unable to receive credit counseling and must forfeit the protections of the Bankruptcy Code.

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