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U.S. Bankruptcy Timeline

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1630-1783: The Colonial Period and Revolutionary America

- Pre-Revolutionary & Early Colonial Bankruptcy Law Resembles English Law

1783-1815: The Young Republic

- 1787 – U.S. Constitution Adopts “Bankruptcy Clause”
- 1800 – Bankruptcy Act of 1800 (Repealed in 1803)

1815-1860: Expansion, Political Reform and Turmoil

- 1819 – Sturges v. Crowninsheild
- 1833 – Federal Imprisonment for Debt Abolished

1830-1876: Sectional Controversy, War and Reconstruction

- 1841 – Bankruptcy Act of 1841 (Repealed in 1843)
- 1867 – Bankruptcy Act of 1867 (Amended in 1874, Repealed in 1867)

1871-1920: Second Industrial Revolution and More Political Reform

- 1898 – Bankruptcy Act of 1898/“Nelson Act”
(Amended in 1939, Lasts 80 years)

1914-1933: War, Prosperity and Depression

- 1932 – National Bankruptcy Conference Formed
- 1933 – The Bankruptcy Act of 1933 (Along w/ 1934 Act, Culminate in the 1938 Chandler Act)

1933-1945: The New Deal and World War II                

- 1934 – Local Loan v. Hunt
- 1934 – The Bankruptcy Act of 1934 (Along w/ 1933 Act, Culminate in 1938 Chandler Act)
- 1934 –Frazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act (Repealed in 1936)
- 1938 – The Chandler Act (Amends 1898 Act)
- Bankruptcy Laws Amended Dozens of Times Over the Next 40 Years…Notable Amendments

1945-1960: Postwar America

- 1946 – 1946 Amendment
- 1952 – 1952 Amendment

1960-1980: The Vietnam Era

- 1960 – Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules Established
- 1964 - Congress Authorized Promulgation of Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure by the Supreme Court
- 1966 – 1966 Amendment
- 1970 – Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA)
- 1970 – Commission on the Bankruptcy Laws of the United States Created
- 1978 – The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978/Bankruptcy Code (Replaces 1898 Act, Amended a Number of Times)

1980-2000: End of the Century

- 1980 – Bankruptcy Tax Act of 1980
- 1982 – Northern Pipeline Construction v. Marathon Pipeline Co.
- 1982 – The Purdue Study
- 1984 – Bankruptcy Amendment Act of 1984 (Amends Bankruptcy Code)
- 1986 – 1986 Amendments: Family Farmers and U.S. Trustees (Amends Bankruptcy Code)
- 1994 – Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 (Amends Bankruptcy Code)
- 1997 – National Bankruptcy Review Commission Report Completed

2001- Present: The New Millennium

- 2005 – Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCA) (Amends Bankruptcy Code)
- 2007 – Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure