This Article offers a unique perspective on the heavily revised U.S. consumer bankruptcy law, which went effect on October 17, 2005, in light of a surprising discovery: It turns out that the U.S. consumer bankruptcy system as "reformed" resembles in many critical respects the consumer bankruptcy system in place for the past six years in the Netherlands. As a result of this serendipitous U.S.-Dutch convergence, years of experience under the Dutch consumer debt relief system can provide a rare glimpse into the future of the new U.S. system. The Dutch law in practice has diverged in significant ways from legislative expectations, and such divergences might well be repeated--for better or worse--in the United States. In particular, comparisons between the Dutch and U.S. systems reveal latent weaknesses and portend an impending breakdown in the "credit counseling" and "means testing" parts of our new system. A comparative view of recent Dutch developments offers not only cause for concern, however, but also hope for some effective solutions.
Jason J. Kilborn,
The Hidden Life of Consumer Bankruptcy Reform,
39 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vjtl/vol39/iss1/3