Rules governing bankruptcy in the United States have undergone several major changes over the years. One of the earliest Bankruptcy Acts dates back to 1898, with major reform laws passed in 1978 and again in 2004. There was also the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, the Family Farm Bankruptcy Extension Act of 1993, the Bankruptcy Tax Act of 1980, as well as countless amendments and interpretations by courts and scholars. Now there's a new place where you can research bankruptcy with a database from Hein Online that contains more than 145,000 pages of materials.
The source is the History of Bankruptcy (link for Georgetown Law community). This collection is Part III of Hein's Taxation and Economic Reform in America series. It includes legislative history materials for major bankruptcy laws, copies of the first twelve editions of Collier on Bankruptcy (those that appear to be out of copyright), as well as numerous scholarly works explaining bankruptcy laws and cases. This collection will be expanded over time, and it looks to provide a wealth of information to anybody wanting to research details of bankruptcy in the United States.
Georgetown Law community members can learn more about bankruptcy research in our Bankruptcy Law Research Guide. For jurisdictions in our region, it's interesting to see bankruptcy rates follow a common trend since 2001, with a record spike in 2005, followed by a record low at the beginning of 2006. The chart shown here was created using LexisNexis Statistical Datasets, another resource available here at Georgetown.