The American Bankruptcy Institute today announced the creation of a Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. The 15-member expert panel will examine the consumer bankruptcy system and issue a report with recommended improvements that can be implemented within the 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. The Commission Reporter 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. Prof. Lawless specializes in bankruptcy, consumer credit and business law. As Reporter for the Commission, Prof. Lawless will assist in operations and draft the final report. “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.”
According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Commission will be comprised of fifteen experts that broadly represent the various stakeholders in the consumer bankruptcy system. Commissioners 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, La.), 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 (Aberdeen, Miss.), Richardo Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Associates (Auburn Hills, Mich.), Prof. Bruce Markell of the Northwestern University School of Law (Chicago), Ronald Peterson of Jenner & Block (Chicago), Prof. 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.). 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.