Bankruptcy laws have changed somewhat over the years. Here I outline the current sources along with a tiny amount of history. The information here relates to the jurisdiction of England and Wales. Bankruptcy Laws are different else where in the UK.
Without going into complexities about how law works, I list the main sources of bankruptcy legislation below:
The Insolvency Act is the primary source of bankruptcy law and defines how the bankruptcy estate can be protected and realised for the benefit of the creditors. Further to this it defines the discharge of a debtor's debts and defines what actually constitutes a bankruptcy debt.
If you are interested in finding these sources you could take a look at:
Further to statutes case law also exists. Case law is previous judgements made in the area of bankruptcy law, and indeed other areas, that may help in making future judgements in court.
Bankruptcy law has been around for a long time. Would you believe that pre 1869 you could have ended up in prison for non payment of debts. Thankfully this was abolished.
There are some major reforms that have changed insolvency law over the years. Most notably are:
As you may well have heard the Enterprise Act 2002 made some fundamental changes to bankruptcy law. A controversial aspect of these changes was the reduction in the period that an individual is subject to bankruptcy to one year. To counter this apparent relaxation in law was the introduction of bankruptcy restriction orders for dishonest or reckless bankrupts.
The purpose of the Enterprise Act was to amend bankruptcy laws so that they were aligned with the entrepreneurship ethos being promoted at the time. Perhaps unintended consequences were that neighbouring European individuals would enter the UK to take advantage of the softer UK bankruptcy laws.