There was some news this week regarding a 2012 presidential candidate who mistakenly asserted that the Federal Government doesn't regulate bankruptcies. It is clear that this candidate has not read the Constitution. Otherwise, this candidate would have noticed that Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution specifically provides for Congress to adopt such rules regulating bankruptcy. This would follow logically as well because bankruptcies are filed in United States District Court of the given locality where a debtor files. While certain issues within bankruptcies are reserved for the States, such as exempt property rights, the basic rules themselves are Federally derived.
This article from the Huffington Post gives a pretty good historical background for why bankruptcy itself made its way to being an enumerated power for Congress to regulate. Basically, the concern came from British treatment of bankruptcy debtors back in the 18th century. There was actually a law in jolly-olde England that allowed debtors to be hanged for not paying debts. I have clients that are still concerned about debtors' prison, but who would think you could actually be hanged for not paying debts in full?!!?! I have previously discussed client moral objections to bankruptcy, but I just think this article is a good read for anyone interested about the topic.