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The anatomy of U.S. personal bankruptcy under Chapter 13

  • Hülya Eraslan
  • Wenli Li
  • Pierre-Daniel Sarte

By compiling a novel data set from bankruptcy court dockets recorded in Delaware between 2001 and 2002, the authors build and estimate a structural model of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This allows them to quantify how key debtor characteristics, including whether they are experiencing bankruptcy for the first time, their past-due secured debt at the time of filing, and income in excess of that required for basic maintenance, affect the distribution of creditor recovery rates. The analysis further reveals that changes in debtors' conditions during bankruptcy play a nontrivial role in governing Chapter 13 outcomes, including their ability to obtain a financial fresh start. The authors' model then predicts that the more stringent provisions of Chapter 13 recently adopted, in particular those that force subsets of debtors to file for long-term plans, do not materially raise creditor recovery rates but make discharge less likely for that subset of debtors. This finding also arises in the context of alternative policy experiments that require bankruptcy plans to meet stricter standards in order to be confirmed by the court. ; Also issued as Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper No. 07-16

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 07-31.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:07-31
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  1. Scott Fay & Erik Hurst & Michelle J. White, 2002. "The Household Bankruptcy Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 706-718, June.
  2. Charles GRANT, 2003. "Evidence on the Effect of US Consumer Bankruptcy Exemptions," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/19, European University Institute.
  3. Gropp, Reint & Scholz, John Karl & White, Michelle J, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-51, February.
  4. Rust, J., 1991. "Estimation of dynamic Structural Models: Problems and Prospects Part I : Discrete Decision Processes," Working papers 9106, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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  6. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," Discussion Papers 04-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Lin, Emily Y. & White, Michelle J., 2001. "Bankruptcy and the Market for Mortgage and Home Improvement Loans," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 138-162, July.
  8. Ronel Elul & Narayanan Subramanian, 2002. "Forum-Shopping and Personal Bankruptcy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 233-255, June.
  9. Pedro Mira & Victor Aguirregabiria, 2007. "Dynamic Discrete Choice Structural Models: A Survey," Working Papers wp2007_0711, CEMFI.
  10. Buckley, F H & Brinig, Margaret F, 1998. "The Bankruptcy Puzzle," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 187-207, January.
  11. Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Structural vs. atheoretic approaches to econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 3-20, May.
  12. Larry H. Filer II & Jonathan D. Fisher, 2005. "The Consumption Effects Associated with Filing for Personal Bankruptcy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 837-854, April.
  13. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2007. "A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1525-1589, November.
  14. Ian Domowitz & Robert L. Sartain, 1999. "Determinants of the Consumer Bankruptcy Decision," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 403-420, 02.
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