Why a Consumer Bankruptcy Blog
In October, 2005, a new Bankruptcy Law went into effect in the United States. Given the slightly Orwellian title “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, the new law has made the consumer bankruptcy process significantly more complicated, expensive and time consuming.
For almost a year following the October 17, 2005 enactment date, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings were at their lowest level in years. Some of the dramatic reduction in numbers can be attributed to the huge rush of filings prior to the October 17 deadline - thousands of people who were “on the fence” went ahead with their filings in an effort to file under the old law.
The bankruptcy filing numbers stayed down in 2006 as well. Some commentators believe that many consumers were under the misunderstanding that bankruptcy was no longer an option. There were also instances of abuse by bill collectors who used misinformation about the availability of filing as a tool to collect debts. In my practice in Atlanta several of my clients reported to me that bill collectors claimed that “bankruptcy had been eliminated in the United States,” or that “in your situation you are no longer allowed to file bankruptcy.”
Thankfully, most people now realize that bankruptcy is still an option, although the option is not as attractive as it once was. In Atlanta, a number of experienced, caring lawyers have left the consumer bankruptcy practice. Legal fees have increased because of the complexity and time requirement of preparing a case under the BAPCPA law.
The Purpose of theBKBLOG
The BKBLOG was created in June, 2005, shortly after President Bush signed into law the BAPCPA legislation. My goal then and now was to identify the challenges of the new bankruptcy law and to answer questions from readers eager for reliable information.
The BKBLOG also exposed me to the world of blogging (also called the (“blogosphere”). Since starting this bankruptcy blog, I have launched a Social Security disability blog, a Georgia workers’ compensation blog and several other non-law blogs such as my blog about kettlebell fitness.
By definition, blogs are interactive web sites - I use the blog platform to answer questions and to moderate comments. Thanks to the participation of many intelligent readers - both lawyers and non-lawyers, the BKBLOG has become somewhat well known in the national consumer bankruptcy community. Last year I was invited to become a contributing editor of a national consumer bankruptcy blog called the Bankruptcy Law Network blog. You will find frequent references to this excellent bankruptcy resource within the posts of the BKBLOG.
The BKBLOG has also helped me get to know many excellent consumer bankruptcy lawyers all over the country. Given that BAPCPA sometimes requires me to apply exemption laws from out of State, this group of colleagues has been a great help to me in many ways.
Mostly, however, I am grateful to you - the reader and participant in the BKBLOG. Your comments are often insightful and I have become a better lawyer because of my need to research answers to questions and to clarify my thoughts about a bankruptcy topic. Please keep those questions coming.
If you have not already done so, please use this blog as a springboard to learn more about blogging and about subscribing to blogs using RSS feeds. If you have a “My Yahoo,” “My MSN,” or “iGoogle” page, you can subscribe to the BKBLOG by clicking on the subscribe button. I currently subscribe to over 20 blogs and my customized iGoogle page is my personalized newspaper. This is where the web is going - jump on board now and get a head start.
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy theBKBLOG.