Publication Date



32 p. ; This student paper has been awarded the 2006 Don G. McCormick Prize.


The United States Congress considered bankruptcy reform for eight years before George W. Bush signed the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BACPA") into law on April 20, 2005. Congressional proponents alleged that rampant and abusive practices required substantial reform measures to combat a staggering economic crisis that burdened every honest citizen. Bankruptcy reform offered the promise of "greater stability and fairness" in the American financial system. BACPA supporters promised that the massive reform measures were designed to curb abusive practices while protecting innocent consumers. However, despite apparently decent and compassionate intentions, some consumer protection measures may have the unintended result of penalizing the truly honest debtor. This article discusses how certain mechanisms, designed tozprotect consumers, impose unintended barriers to critical relief. The article also discusses how reform measures, intended to curb abusive practices, impose hardships on debtors fielding the system most. The specific code provision are identified and explained, and the intended goals, as expressed in the legislative history, are analyzed and compared to the practical or actual result. The author also offers ameliorative proposals to ensure that the "consumer protection" provisions of the act realize the promise that BACPA will "protect those who legitimately need help."


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper

Included in

Law Commons



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.