What are some of the differences in US bankruptcy laws and those in place internationally?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The major difference between US bankruptcy law and that of other countries is that US law is much more lenient towards debtors.  This difference has been noticed by observers as long ago as Alexis de Tocqueville.  Though this changing to some degree now as other countries change their laws, US laws are still different enough that debtors from other countries will try to declare bankruptcy in US courts to take advantage of this leniency.

American bankruptcy law is meant to provide the debtor with a fresh start and an opportunity to try again.  Therefore, it is much more inclined than foreign laws to wipe out some of the debtor's liability, forcing creditors to "take a haircut."  It is also much less likely to liquidate the debtor's assets.  Instead, a bankrupt firm is often able to keep running under a "debtor-in-possession" system.  The firm continues to be run by its management rather than being run by a trustee or custodian as in some countries.

American law is believed to be more friendly to entrepreneurs and is therefore seen as one aspect of America's relatively high degree of entrepreneurship.

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