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A robust, effective, and efficient bankruptcy system rebuilds companies, preserves jobs, and facilitates economic growth with dynamic financial markets and lower costs of capital. For more than 35 years, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code has served these purposes, and its innovative debtor in possession chapter 11 process, which allows a company to manage and direct its reorganization efforts, is emulated around the globe. As with any law or regulation, however, periodic review of U.S. bankruptcy laws is necessary to ensure their continued efficacy and relevance.

Whether by design or chance, efforts to review and assess U.S. business reorganization laws are undertaken approximately every 40 years. Such efforts have led to federal legislation effecting meaningful revisions to business reorganization laws in 1898, 1938, and 1978. It may be that four decades is the maximum amount of time that any financially driven regulation can remain relevant. Markets and financial products, as well as industry itself, often evolve far more quickly than the regulations intended to govern them. It may be that significant economic crises tend to occur cyclically and encourage reevaluation of the federal bankruptcy laws. Regardless, the general consensus among restructuring professionals is that the time has come once again to evaluate U.S. business reorganization laws. Accordingly, the American Bankruptcy Institute (the “ABI”) established the Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 (the “Commission”) for this precise purpose.



Publication Date



American Bankruptcy Institute


Alexandria, VA


Bankruptcy Law


Additional materials relating to the Report are available at the Commission's site,

Final Report of the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11