Document Type


Publication Date



The Seventeenth Annual Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal Symposium

This Paper presumes that readers want to make bankruptcy more useful for consumers and for society as a whole. If this is true, we need to ask two questions: first, what do individual consumers hope to get out of the system, and second, what does society hope to get out of the system?

Part I of this Paper discusses the increase in debt over the last two decades, the growing wage and income gap, growing debt inequality and race, and the fall of the CFPB, all justifications for using the bankruptcy system to help ameliorate these problems. Part II discusses particular ways the Code could be amended to become more relevant, including allowing all secured debt to be stripped down and allowing more student loans to be discharged. Part III discusses the main policy justifications for our consumer bankruptcy system and suggests a third system modification that would make bankruptcy more relevant for consumers, namely a hearing or other forum in which consumers could be publicly forgiven of their debts and perhaps even be heard about their financial woes through the bankruptcy court system.

Publication Title

Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal





First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.