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Regional Differences in Chapter 13 Filings: Southern Legal Culture or Religion?


  • John H. Beck
  • Donald D. Hackney
  • John Hackney
  • Matthew Q. McPherson


Chapter 7 is designed for debtors who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts and many times leads to a legal release of most debt. Chapter 13 is designed for debtors who have the ability to pay all or part of their debts in installments over a period of time. Bankruptcy research finds that the southern region of the USA has a significantly higher portion of Chapter 13 filings than the rest of the country, unexplainable by quantifiable demographic, legal, or economic differences. Our results suggest that religion is the driving force behind the abnormally high Chapter 13 filings in the southern USA.

Suggested Citation

  • John H. Beck & Donald D. Hackney & John Hackney & Matthew Q. McPherson, 2014. "Regional Differences in Chapter 13 Filings: Southern Legal Culture or Religion?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 72(2), pages 186-208, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:72:y:2014:i:2:p:186-208
    DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2013.861644

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Moral and Social Constraints to Strategic Default on Mortgages," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/27, European University Institute.
    2. Frank McIntyre & Daniel M. Sullivan & Laura Summers, 2015. "Lawyers Steer Clients Toward Lucrative Filings: Evidence from Consumer Bankruptcies," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 245-289.
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