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Meeting the demand for debt relief

  • Stephanie M. Wilshusen
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    Each year, millions of financially distressed consumers in the U.S. face a difficult choice among the debt relief options available to them. This paper describes the options available to borrowers who seek assistance in managing their debts and discusses the information and incentive problems associated with these options. It also reviews the trends that contributed to the breakdown of the repayment framework and the responses to these trends. Among the responses is a reconsideration of the regulatory structure of the debt relief industry. The paper concludes with a discussion of the importance for debt relief providers and policymakers to evaluate the efficacy of workout options and to develop a deeper understanding of how consumers make decisions about incurring and repaying debt.

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    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/payment-cards-center/publications/discussion-papers/2011/D-2011-Demand-for-Debt-Relief.pdf
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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper with number 11-04.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpdp:11-04
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    Web page: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/

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    1. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle White, 1996. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," NBER Working Papers 5653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Richard Hynes & Eric A. Posner, 2002. "The Law and Economics of Consumer Finance," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 168-207, January.
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    6. Amy Finkelstein & Sarah Taubman & Bill Wright & Mira Bernstein & Jonathan Gruber & Joseph P. Newhouse & Heidi Allen & Katherine Baicker, 2012. "The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1057-1106.
    7. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    8. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 2011. "Limited and varying consumer attention: evidence from shocks to the salience of bank overdraft fees," Working Papers 11-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    9. Hellwig, Martin F, 1977. "A Model of Borrowing and Lending with Bankruptcy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1879-1906, November.
    10. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    11. Robert M. Hunt, 2005. "Whither consumer credit counseling?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q4, pages 9-20.
    12. Bolton, Patrick, 1990. "Renegotiation and the dynamics of contract design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 303-310, May.
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