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Anniversaries and Audits

posted by Melissa Jacoby

On a week of anniversaries relevant to bankruptcy reform and policy, it is worth noting that exactly 9 years ago, the National Bankruptcy Review Commission filed its final report.  The second proposal in this telephone-book-sized report was for random audits (proposal number 1.1.2) that, in a more detailed iteration, becomes operational today via section 603 of the 2005 bankruptcy amendments as Bob has noted.  Unlike other personal bankruptcy proposals discussed in the Commission Report, this one had widespread (indeed, possibly unanimous) support among the members of the Bankruptcy Commission who otherwise had fundamental descriptive and prescriptive disagreements about the personal bankruptcy system.   As Bob's 33% Solution post illustrates, however, Congress insisted on putting some consequential details in the statute that, if put into practice literally, undercut some of the justifications for the otherwise-popular audit proposal.   Now others are charged, within these constraints, to try to implement the concept in a cost-efficient and effective manner (for how the U.S. Trustee program is approaching this, see the press release here and 71 Fed. Reg. 58005 (Oct. 2, 2006)).

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