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Insolvency After the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform

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  • Stefania Albanesi
  • Jaromir Nosal

Abstract

The 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) is the most important reform of personal bankruptcy in the United States in recent years. This legislation overhauled eligibility requirements and increased monetary costs of filing for bankruptcy. Using administrative credit file data from a nationally representative panel, we quantify the effects of the reform on bankruptcy, insolvency, and foreclosure, we explore the mechanism generating these responses and examine the consequences for households. We find that the reform caused a 50% permanent drop in Chapter 7 filings, a 25% permanent rise in insolvency, but had no effect on Chapter 13 filings. Exploiting the cross-district variation in filing costs resulting from the reform, we show that these responses are driven by liquidity constraints associated with the higher monetary cost of filing for bankruptcy. We show that insolvency is associated with worse outcomes than bankruptcy, in terms of access to credit and credit scores, suggesting that BAPCPA may have removed an important form of relief for financially distressed borrowers.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefania Albanesi & Jaromir Nosal, 2018. "Insolvency After the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform," NBER Working Papers 24934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24934
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hülya Eraslan & Gizem Koşar & Wenli Li & Pierre‐Daniel Sarte, 2017. "An Anatomy Of U.S. Personal Bankruptcy Under Chapter 13," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 671-702, August.
    2. Julapa Jagtiani & Wenli Li, 2014. "Credit access after consumer bankruptcy filing: new evidence," Working Papers 14-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 07 Aug 2014.
    3. David B. Gross, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 319-347, March.
    4. Will Dobbie & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & Crystal S. Yang, 2017. "Consumer Bankruptcy and Financial Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(5), pages 853-869, December.
    5. Tal Gross & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Jialan Wang, 2014. "Liquidity Constraints and Consumer Bankruptcy: Evidence from Tax Rebates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 431-443, July.
    6. Borys Grochulski, 2010. "Optimal Personal Bankruptcy Design under Moral Hazard," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 350-378, April.
    7. Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2010. "An introduction to the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel," Staff Reports 479, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kyle Herkenhoff, 2016. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings and Entrepreneurship," 2016 Meeting Papers 781, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Florian Exler & Michéle Tertilt, 2020. "Consumer Debt and default: A Macro Perspective," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_153, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    3. Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2015. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Constraints on Earnings, Sorting, and Job Finding Rates of Displaced Workers," 2015 Meeting Papers 375, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Jason Allen & Kiana Basiri, 2016. "The Impact of Bankruptcy Reform on Insolvency Choice and Consumer Credit," Staff Working Papers 16-26, Bank of Canada.
    5. Bleemer, Zachary & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2019. "Long-run net distributionary effects of federal disaster insurance: The case of Hurricane Katrina," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 70-88.
    6. repec:cpr:ceprdp:14330 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E49 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Other
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law

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