Personal insolvency law after the Enterprise Act: an appraisal

Walters, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-5854-4655, 2005. Personal insolvency law after the Enterprise Act: an appraisal. Journal of Corporate Law Studies, 5, pp. 65-104. ISSN 1473-5970

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This paper offers an appraisal of the recent reforms of personal insolvency law introduced in England and Wales by the Enterprise Act 2002 which came into force on 1 April 2004. The paper suggests that the new law has four key structural elements: (i) the reduction in the duration of bankruptcy, (ii) the lifting of statutory restrictions and disabilities hitherto imposed on undischarged bankrupts, (iii) the new regime of post-discharge restrictions for so-called 'culpable' bankrupts, (iv) the introduction of a 'fast-track' post-bankruptcy individual voluntary arrangement procedure supervised by the official receiver. The new law is examined in the light of the policies that it seeks to promote and the implications for debtor incentives are considered. The paper’s principal conclusions are (i) that the legal incentives for debtors to opt for an individual voluntary arrangement rather than bankruptcy do not appear to be particularly compelling and (ii) that the significant investment required in a system that differentiates between 'honest' and 'culpable' bankrupts will only be worthwhile if credit providers are prepared to treat the former significantly more favourably than the latter.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Corporate Law Studies
Creators: Walters, A.
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Place of Publication: Oxford
Date: 2005
Volume: 5
ISSN: 1473-5970
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:20
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:26

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