American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)

What Is the American Bankruptcy Institute?

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, Va., 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 online consumer education and events.

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

Key Takeaways

  • The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) is a nonpartisan research association that educates its members, Congress, and the public on bankruptcy issues. 
  • Founded in 1982, 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 online consumer education and events.

Understanding the American Bankruptcy Institute

The American Bankruptcy Institute 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 American Bankruptcy Institute, found at www.bankruptcyresources.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 American Bankruptcy Institute 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 ABI lists all the bankruptcy attorneys certified by the American Board of Certification.

Personal bankruptcies experienced a significant increase starting in 2005, as a result of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) enacted by Congress in 2005. Personal filings at the time jumped by 30% versus the previous year to over 2 million. 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. To give some context, there were 249,314 total new bankruptcy filings across all chapters for the first seven months of 2021, down 27% from 340,986 in the same period in 2020.

Article Sources

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  1. American Bankruptcy Institute. "About Us." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  2. American Bankruptcy Institute. "Education & Events." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  3. American Bankruptcy Institute. "Research Grants." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  4. American Bankruptcy Institute. "Law Review." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  5. American Bankruptcy Institute. "ABI Journal, Subscribe." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  6. University of Pennsylvania Penn Libraries. "American Bankruptcy Institute Records." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  7. American Bankruptcy Institute. "Blogs." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  8. American Bankruptcy Institute. "Home." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  9. Bankruptcy Resources From the American Bankruptcy Institute. "Home." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  10. Congress.gov. "S.256—Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  11. United States Courts. "Table F-2—U.S. Bankruptcy Courts—Business and Nonbusiness Cases Commenced, by Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code, During the 12-Month Period Ending Dec. 31, 2005." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  12. United States Courts. "Table F-2 U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Business and Nonbusiness Bankruptcy Cases Commenced, by Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code, During the Twelve Month Period Ended Dec. 31, 2004." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

  13. Epiq. "July 2021 Bankruptcy Filings Down 6%." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.