On October 17, 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) went into effect. Enacted after twelve years of intense lobbying by unsecured lenders, BAPCPA represents the most sweeping set of amendments to the Bankruptcy Code in over a century. BAPCPA imposed a large number of new requirements on all consumer debtors. From a consumer perspective, the most dramatic change is that debtors who have incomes above their state's median and who fail a "means test" are presumed to be abusing the system. If they wish to file a Chapter 7 liquidation, they instead are channeled into filing Chapter 13 plans.

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