Eric H. Miller


This Article examines the historical development of Alaska's debtor protections from their beginnings in the period of initial federal administration to the present. The current Alaska statutes protecting certain property of debtors from their creditors descended from policies first enacted by Congress. Although federal authority began in 1867 with the area's acquisition from Russia, Congress did not provide for governmental administration in Alaska until 1884, which act also provided Alaska its first debtor protection statutes. Extension of the federal Homestead Act to Alaska in 1898 brought the first protections for settlers' homesteads from their creditors. By 1912 and the creation of the territorial government, Congress had set the basic structure of debtor protection in Alaska. Unlike those states which insisted historically on placing certain debtor protections within their constitutions, public policy in Alaska has deemed statutory structures adequate to protect a debtor's interests.

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