People overwhelmed with debt problems can get a fresh financial start by filing for bankruptcy relief. Bankruptcy can stop foreclosure on a house or mobile home, prevent repossession of a car or other property, stop wage garnishment or debt collection harassment, and prevent termination of utility services. In some bankruptcy cases, a plan can be approved to pay over time some or all of an individual's debts. After years of intense debate, Congress enacted an overhaul of the nation’s consumer bankruptcy laws in 2005.  The changes have made the process more complicated, but the basic right to file bankruptcy and most of the benefits remain the same for most individuals.


Pro Bono Bankruptcy Training Program Material

Intended to help pro bono programs, legal services programs, local bar associations, and other organizations provide high-quality trainings for volunteer attorneys on representing consumers in bankruptcy cases.

Policy Analysis

Policy Briefs, Reports and Press Releases

Testimony and Comments

  • NCLC & NACBA Comments to CFPB Regarding Student Loan Servicing Issues Related to Borrowers in Bankruptcy, July 13, 2015
  • Comments to CFPB Regarding Proposed Amendments Dealing with the Bankruptcy Exemptions to Mortgage Servicing Regulations, March 16, 2015
  • Foreclosure Mediation Programs: Can Bankruptcy Courts Limit Homeowner and Investor Losses? Testimony of John Rao before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Feb. 2011
  • Mandatory Mediation Programs: Can Bankruptcy Courts Help End the Foreclosure Crisis? Testimony of John Rao before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Oct. 28, 2010
  • The Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2010 Testimony of Deanne Loonin for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law regarding, April 22, 2010
  • Is There a Role for Bankruptcy Courts? Testimony of John Rao before Senate Judiciary Subcommittee: Mortgage Modifications During the Foreclosure Crisis
  • The United States Trustee’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Application Procedures for Approval of Providers of a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course Comments of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the National Consumer Law Center
  • Credit Cards and Bankruptcy: Opportunities for Reform Testimony of John Rao at Senate Committee on the Judiciary field hearing on "Credit Cards and Bankruptcy: Opportunities for Reform", at Rhode Island College

Additional Resources

  • Questions and Answers about the Mortgage Modification Bankruptcy Bills (H.R. 200 and S. 61), What is the status of the bills? What is the most significant feature of the bills which would make modification for home mortgages different than under current law for other loans? Q&A
  • Six Things  Legal Services and Pro Bono Lawyers Should Know About the Attorney Provisions in the 2005 Act

Related Publications

  • Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice - The definitive consumer bankruptcy treatise, updated with the latest case law and Bankruptcy Code, forms and rules changes, by Henry Sommer, the nation’s leading author on consumer bankruptcy.
  • Bankruptcy Basics- Who's Afraid of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act? This one package provides everything attorneys new to bankruptcy need to file their first case, with examples of forms to file, easy-to-use software, and more

GM and Chrysler Bankruptcies