Bankruptcy Laws v. Insolvency Laws: A Debtors’ Prison Distinction (Sturges v. Crowninshield)

Flying high (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Over the past two hundred and thirty years, the United States of America has been flying high on a massive economic expansion, punctuated periodically by times of economic stress or crisis. Bankruptcy laws have struggled to keep pace with the expansion and occasional turmoil. An earliest... Continue Reading →

First-Ever U.S. Bankruptcy Law — Enacted With A Pandemic’s Help

The Bankruptcy Act of 1800 By: Donald L Swanson 1800 is the year Congress adopts its first bankruptcy law under the "Bankruptcies" clause of the newly-ratified U.S. Constitution. Congress’s Bankruptcy Act of 1800 is modeled after England’s bankruptcy laws.  But there is a significant difference: the focus of England’s bankruptcy laws, back then, is exclusively on... Continue Reading →

History of Bankruptcy: From the Torah, the Talmud and the Mishnah

By: Donald L. Swanson For starters, see my "Disclaimer" below. “The Torah is the Hebrew Bible,” consisting of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Joshua, Psalms, Book of Ruth, etc.; and the Talmud “is the compilation of the historical rabbis ‘discussing’ or ‘debating’ what the Torah means.” [Fn. 1] The Mishnah is “an edited record”... Continue Reading →

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