American Bankruptcy Institute Forms Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy

3/21/2017 10:00 AM

The commission, with the goal to create a report on recommended improvements for the consumer bankruptcy system, will hold its first meeting in May.


The American Bankruptcy Institute has created a 15-member Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy to examine the consumer bankruptcy system and recommend improvements that can be added within its existing structure.

“The Commission aims to modernize the consumer bankruptcy system with practical and cost-effective recommendations, building on the framework established by Bankruptcy Code of 1978 and Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005,” according to the news release. “The Commission will employ an open, information-gathering model that will allow interested parties across the consumer bankruptcy spectrum to provide input.”

William Houston Brown, a former bankruptcy judge for the Western District of Tennessee, and Elizabeth Perris, a former bankruptcy judge for the District of Oregon and member of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit, will serve as co-chairs of the commission.

“I expect the final commission report to represent consensus recommendations for improvements in the consumer bankruptcy system,” Brown said in the news release.

Perris added she “is looking forward to working with the diverse group of stakeholders on the commission and its committees to produce recommendations that will modernize and improve the consumer bankruptcy system for all who participate.”

The commission reporter who will assist in operations and draft the final report is Robert Lawless, the Max L. Rowe Professor of Law and co-director of the Program on Law, Behavior & Social Science at the University of Illinois College of Law.

“As a long-time ABI member, it was a privilege to be asked to play a role in this Commission,” Lawless said. “I look forward to a vigorous, open and respectful process that I hope will lead to a report around which there is a broad consensus.”

The 15 commissioners, representing various facets of the consumer bankruptcy system, include: Michael Bates of JPMorgan Chase Bank (Lewisville, Texas); Alane Becket of Becket & Lee (Malvern, Pa.); Edward Boltz of the Offices of John T. Orcutt (Durham, N.C.); Rudy Cerone of McGlinchey Stafford New Orleans); Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn (ret.) (Portland, Ore.); chapter 13 trustee Henry Hildebrand (Nashville, Tenn.); Ariane Holtschlag of FactorLaw, (Chicago); David Houston of Mitchell, McNutt & Sams, Richardo Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Associates (Aberdeen, Miss.); Professor Bruce Markell of the Northwestern University School of Law, (Chicago); Ronald Peterson of Jenner & Block,(Chicago); Professor Katherine Porter of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law; John Rao of the National Consumer Law Center (Boston); attorney Wendell Sherk (St. Louis); and Tara Twomey of the National Consumer Law Center (Carmel, Calif.).

The ex officio (non-voting) commissioners are Edward T. Gavin of Gavin/Solmonese (Wilmington, Del.); ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano, ABI President-Elect Eugene Wedoff, and Clifford White, director of the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees.

The first public meeting of the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy will take place at the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., on May 4-7.

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