California Western Law Review


Linda Coco


The enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act ("BAPCPA") of 2005, amending the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, marks a transformation in bankruptcy law and policy that is representative of larger shifts in dominant economic and political models from "embedded liberalism" to free market "neoliberalism." BAPCPA's provisions are part of the new practices of the emergent neoliberal state as they relate tot he American middle class segment of hte population. In disciplining hte middle class, BAPCPA shifts the risk and the responsibility of the lending relationship onto consumer debtors. BAPCPA does this by keeping financially distressed individuals servicing debt obligations both inside and outside the bankruptcy system. Socio-cultural theory provides a broadened frame for understanding the economic shift reflected in this fundamental transformation in legal mandates.