Frank W. Koger Memorial Lecture: Bankruptcy as a Social Safety Net: Policy Considerations in a Time of Pandemic
Sponsored by Spencer Fane LLP
Unemployment rates are slowly dropping after hitting an all-time high in April of this year and remaining in the double digits for four months straight. However, the effects of the ongoing pandemic remain. Rent payments are down, and homeowners are delaying payments on their mortgages. The Federal Reserve has dropped interest rates to near-zero, and small business revenue nationwide is down nearly 20%, even after accounting for the thousands of businesses that have already closed for good. Congress, states and local governments are scrambling to put policies and programs in place that will help forestall financial collapse. As bankruptcy practitioners and scholars, this is our moment — or is it? This presentation will explore the role that bankruptcy policy can and should play in a global pandemic, discuss the role that bankruptcy policy has already begun to play, and query what factors may be limiting the effectiveness of bankruptcy policy in easing financial distress and limiting unnecessary business closures.