Section 707(b) of the Bankruptcy Code: A Roadmap With a Proposed Standard for Defining Substantial Abuse

This Note examines these questions and proposes a standard for determining “substantial abuse.” Part I provides an overview of Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Part II discusses the legislative history of section 707(b). Part III examines the jurisdictional and procedural questions raised by the section and attempts to define what Congress meant by “primarily consumer debts” and “on [a court’s] own motion.” Part IV proposes a two-part standard for determining “substantial abuse.” This standard suggests that courts should find “substantial abuse” whenever a debtor acts in bad faith or is able to repay 100% of his debts over the three-year period following his motion for bankruptcy.