American Bankruptcy Institute - ABI

DEFINITION of 'American Bankruptcy Institute - ABI'

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) is a nonpartisan research association and organization that educates its members, Congress and the public on bankruptcy issues. Founded in 1982 and based in Alexandria, Virginia, the ABI includes more than 12,000 attorneys, accountants, lenders, judges, bankers and other bankruptcy professionals. The ABI also provides grants to scholars researching insolvency issues and offers consumer education through its online Consumer Bankruptcy Center.

The ABI primarily provides education by analyzing proposed legislation, publishing books, maintaining an informational website, providing information to journalists, publishing its ABI Journal 10 times a year and its ABI Law Review twice a year, and holding national and regional conferences that provide continuing education to bankruptcy professionals. The ABI does not lobby Congress.

BREAKING DOWN 'American Bankruptcy Institute - ABI'

The ABI is normally called on to testify before Congress, analyze proposed bills and carry out occasional briefings for Congressional committees and legislative staff. Further, it acts as a publisher for educational content for the insolvency practitioner and for the dedicated individuals who want to research and educate on matters of insolvency.

The ABI platform can be found at ABI.org and is the most comprehensive site on the issues of insolvency. The digital ABI platform generates and communicates information on global insolvency and insolvency opinions, and also maintains and upkeeps an insolvency-related blog, online educational sessions and its published journal.

The ABI Platform for Consumers

The ABI also offers consumer-specific information for those who are interested in gaining personal knowledge about bankruptcy and the alternatives to bankruptcy. The Consumer Bankruptcy Center, found at Consumer.abi.org, is a free service that was created to help the general public with understanding bankruptcy, how to file for bankruptcy and where to find local professional help.

The ABI Consumer Bankruptcy Center lists commonly asked questions and answers in regards to the consumer bankruptcy process. It provides individual consumers with links to credit counseling agencies and a free online version of the current Bankruptcy Code. If a person is interested in the help of an attorney, the Consumer Bankruptcy Center lists all the bankruptcy attorneys certified by the American Board of Certification.

The ABI states that personal bankruptcy issues in the United States grew to over 2 million cases in 2005. As a response, President Bush signed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 into law. This act decreased the overall scope of relief and made it harder for consumers to qualify for debt relief eligibility. As a response, the ABI launched its initiative to help consumers overcome money problems, rebuild their credit and recover before or after bankruptcy.