Measures like one proposed this week by the Obama administration to encourage defaulting homeowners to sell their houses at a loss won't work without an overhaul of the bankruptcy system, Columbia law professor Ronald Mann writes in a New York Times commentary. The current system is complicated and expensive for people to use, meaning many continue to swim in debt. The problem was made worse by 2005 congressional changes to the bankruptcy system, aimed at making it harder for people to escape paying their bills.

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