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Bankrupt in AmericaA History of Debtors, Their Creditors, and the Law in the Twentieth Century$
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Mary Eschelbach Hansen and Bradley A. Hansen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226679563

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226679730.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Renegotiation of the Relationship between Consumers and Their Creditors

The Renegotiation of the Relationship between Consumers and Their Creditors

Chapter:
(p.107) Chapter Five The Renegotiation of the Relationship between Consumers and Their Creditors
Source:
Bankrupt in America
Author(s):

Mary Eschelbach Hansen

Bradley A. Hansen

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226679730.003.0005

Pro-creditor garnishment law was a key driver of the bankruptcy rate for the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, but it did not survive the consumer rights movement of the 1960s. By 1970, Congress and the Supreme Court limited the ability of states to maintain and enforce pro-creditor collection laws. Chapter 5 shows that the federal restrictions on garnishment law, especially the Consumer Credit Protection Act, reduced the state-to-state variation in the bankruptcy rate and caused the national bankruptcy rate to level off. Although the growth of bankruptcy in the 1950s and 1960s led to calls for reform of federal bankruptcy law, the effort moved slowly. By the time recommendations for bankruptcy reform were made to Congress, bankruptcy rates were no longer regarded as a problem. Almost all of the changes to personal bankruptcy in the 1978 Bankruptcy Reform Act encouraged debtors to file.

Keywords:   Consumer rights, Bankruptcy Reform Act, garnishment, Consumer Credit Protection Act, Supreme Court

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