A recent analysis of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) by Gayle Ronan on MSNBC concluded that the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the new law. The average number of bankruptcy filings in the United States in the past few years has been about 1,500,000, but the number filing filing from October 2005 (when the new law took effect) to October 2006 was less than 500,000. The reduced number of filings was primarily due to extreme number of filings in the few weeks immediately before October 2005 (700,000).
The American Bankers Association (ABA) believe that the number of filings in the future will come close to the historic average. They also believe that the new law will reduce the abusive filings by high income individuals or force them into Chapter 13. The ABA thinks that 5 -10% of the filings may be "abusive".
Experienced bankruptcy attorneys and the National Association of Consumer bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) have a very different view. They hold that there ae very few "abusive" filers, and that the more rigorous requirements for filing imposed on the vast majority of filers is unfair and unnecessary. Most filings are the result of divorce, job loss, or illness. The article concluded that it would have been more helpful for Congress to attack the large numbers of bankruptcy filings by increasing educational programs and evaluating mortgage and credit offers rather than increasing the hassles and expense associated with filing bankruptcy.