Although filing for bankruptcy is the primary form of economic relief for U.S. consumers in financial distress, pro se debtors lack access to the consumer bankruptcy system. An individual debtor faces many challenges when filing for bankruptcy without an attorney, since the debtor must rely on free access to the information provided by the U.S. Courts website. However, that information is vague and presented in complex legalese and dissuasive diction. On the other hand, U.K. debtors who need financial relief can file for bankruptcy through a clear and accessible bankruptcy filing process. U.K. debtors also have access to free consumer debt advice from a government-funded nonprofit organization, Citizens Advice. This paper discusses the differences in filing processes for U.S. and U.K. debtors. It ultimately concludes that the U.S. should implement similar filing processes to those in the U.K. to create a more accessible bankruptcy system, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Courtney Kobren, Bankruptcy Basics: What the U.S. Can Learn From the U.K. Filing Processes, 32 Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 441-465 (2022)
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/djcil/vol32/iss2/5