Abstract: This article introduces the new personal insolvency laws in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, both effective in early 2023. It situates these new regimes at the tail end of a decade-long worldwide movement to address the rising household financial hardship through various forms of personal insolvency (bankruptcy) legislation. In particular, it examines the structure and statutory requirements of these two new Central Asian schemes against the backdrop of the law that inspired them both, the 2015 Russian personal insolvency law and its recent outcomes. All three systems are assessed against recommendations for international best practices for personal insolvency legislation. While the Uzbek law stands up to scrutiny quite well, being little more than a refinement of the well-structured Russian model, the Kazakh law critically deviates from the recommended path in ways that threaten to undermine the entire effort to bring relief and reinvigoration to consumers and individual entrepreneurs in an era of rising financial hardship and economic and social exclusion.
Keywords: personal bankruptcy; personal insolvency; small business bankruptcy; post-Soviet law; post-COVID-19 recovery; formalism; no-asset debtors; best practices; mandatory settlement negotiation
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