There is always some appetite in Congress for changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, say those who watch that area closely, but will the subprime mortgage crisis entice enough lawmakers to the table for action this year?

In the past few months, the Democratic-controlled Congress has held hearings involving the bankruptcy system on four different fronts, and some of the titles of the hearings leave little doubt about the majority party’s concerns. A hearing on the second anniversary of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) was entitled, “Are consumers really being protected?” And a hearing on the operation of the U.S. Trustee Program was called, “Watchdog or Attack Dog?”

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