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State Laws, Court Splits, Local Practice Make Consumer Bankruptcy Anything but "Uniform"

Daniel A. Austin, Northeastern University School of Law

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Originally published in American Bankruptcy Institute Journal v.29, no.10 (Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011).


The Bankruptcy Clause allows Congress to establish “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.” Pursuant to this authority, the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. §101 et seq., governs consumer bankruptcy in the U.S. As a federal statute, it might be expected that the Code would be applied in a relatively uniform manner throughout the U.S. However, state laws, judicial interpretation, and local practice can vary so significantly, that the relief and procedures available to a debtor in one state can be entirely different from what is available in another state.

Suggested Citation

American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, v.29 no.10 (Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011).