SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah


Bankruptcy is a privilege for the honest but unfortunate debtor; not for the knave or churl. All agree that bankruptcy should be available for those who are unable to pay their debts, but not for those who are just unwilling. The homilies are simple to state but not easy to apply. Why do consumers file bankruptcy? There are many explanations, all of them contentious and layered with disputed data. There simply is no definitive answer. Furthermore, as the following possible explanations demonstrate, Congress's choice to limit access to bankruptcy ignores the complexity of the question.