The Problem of Consumer Bankruptcy: Is Amendment of the Bankruptcy Act the Answer?

The question of whether the current frequency of consumer bankruptcy is a necessary function of consumer credit remains unanswered. The burgeoning number of consumer bankruptcies in a period of unparalleled national prosperity suggests fundamental weaknesses in the credit-oriented economy. Bankruptcy filings, now numbering nearly 172,000 annually, have trebled over the past decade. For twelve consecutive years the number of petitions filed has exceeded that of the prior year. Nonbusiness bankruptcies, most of which offer no assets for distribution, constitute ninety per cent of all filings.