Part One of this blog covers the general history of bankruptcy laws from 1542 to 1776 in Europe and during the founding of the United States. The largest shift in the bankruptcy code occurred when Americans rewrote bankruptcy laws between 1776 and the 1800s. Before this American shift in the bankruptcy code, debtors were treated harshly, severely punished for debts and made vulnerable to creditors and the government. Today, the U.S. bankruptcy code is based on the American shift in how debtors are treated. Fair treatment of all parties involved in a bankruptcy case is the current ideal held up by the bankruptcy code. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, Behm Law Group Ltd. can guide you through the process and help you understand how the bankruptcy code in Luverne, MN, and the surrounding area works today.
After the founding of the United States in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence and the end of the American Revolution, legislators worked to develop new American laws, including establishing a shift in the bankruptcy code from the English standards. In the early nineteenth century, legislation for bankruptcy changed again to fit the rapidly fluctuating financial conditions and population in the United States.
1800: With the practice of U.S. law almost 30 years in, legislators could more effectively examine what was and wasn’t working. The lack of congressional control over bankruptcy was becoming an issue largely due to the economic depression in 1798, and the Bankruptcy Act of 1800 was a direct reaction to this financial crisis. The act followed English law much more closely than previous U.S. legislation, and it was repealed within three years due to its large unpopularity.
1841: After another financial crisis in the United States in 1837, legislators passed an act in 1841 that allowed for the filing of voluntary bankruptcies. Previously, bankruptcy cases were forced onto debtors who were unable to repay creditors. This was the second major shift of the U.S. bankruptcy code toward what we have today. However, this act was repealed in 1843 and wouldn’t be readdressed until the severe financial conditions following the Civil War. Similarly, the Bankruptcy Act of 1867 reinstated voluntary bankruptcy until its repeal in 1878.
1898: Despite many necessary revisions throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 established the basics of the bankruptcy code we use today. This act offered voluntary bankruptcies to a wider range of people, allowed more composition agreements between creditors and debtors, redefined insolvency, mandated specific grounds for the discharge of debts and the sale of non-exempt assets, limited the number of bankruptcies one could file, and overall realigned the bankruptcy code to better fit into the economic system.
Since 1898, many major acts, such as the Chandler Act of 1938 and the BAPCPA of 2005, continue to redefine the bankruptcy code and make changes according to economic and consumer needs. Today, our bankruptcy system is a highly effective debt relief process that has helped millions regain financial well-being. To learn more about the bankruptcy code in Luverne, MN, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.