Saving Your Home in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
AbstractThis paper examines how filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 helps financially distressed debtors save their homes. We develop a model of debtors’ decisions to default on their mortgages and file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 and evaluate the model using new data on Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers. We also examine the effect of allowing bankruptcy judges to reduce debtors’ mortgage payments, i.e., introducing “cram-down” of mortgages in Chapter 13. We find that 96% of Chapter 13 filers are homeowners and 79% of filers repay mortgage debt in their repayment plans; while just 9% of filers repay only unsecured debt in their plans. These results suggest that filers use Chapter 13 almost exclusively as a “save-your-home” procedure. But under current law, only about 1% Chapter 13 filers save their homes when they would otherwise have defaulted. If cram-down were introduced, we predict that this fraction would increase to 10%. The cost to lenders of introducing cram-down is estimated to be $264,000 per home saved and $30 billion in total.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14179.
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Saving Your Home in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy," with Ning Zhu. NBER working paper 14179. Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 39:1, pp. 33-61, January 2010
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
- G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law
- R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-07-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2008-07-30 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-REG-2008-07-30 (Regulation)
- NEP-URE-2008-07-30 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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