Personal Bankruptcy in the United States
This paper contains an overview of personal, or consumer, bankruptcy in the United States, concentrating on empirical issues in the study of this important legal institution. Business cycle effects are reviewed, in the context of both the passage of legislation and the effect of economic fluctuations on bankruptcy filings. Evidence on the determinants of bankruptcy filings and choice of bankruptcy alternative at the level of the household also is examined, concentrating on demographic influences, employment and occupation, and the status of household finances. Finally, the link between bankruptcy and consumer credit is briefly explored.
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