Who Should Pay for Bankruptcy Costs?
The fees of experts (financial advisors, lawyers, accountants) are a substantial fraction of bankruptcy costs. Scholars have considered how best to reduce these costs, but have not considered how they should be allocated among creditors. The allocation issue is important because creditors can spend redistributionally (to violate or uphold absolute priority) and productively (to increase the value of the bankrupt firm). An efficient bankruptcy cost allocation scheme should discourage redistributional and encourage productive creditor spending. We consider the desirability of various allocation schemes in a model in which senior and junior creditors can engage in both types of spending but the bankruptcy court cannot distinguish productive from rent seeking activities. We suppose that the senior claim is at or in the money. This implies that the seniors have an incentive to spend only to defend their position while the juniors have both good and bad incentives: to spend productively on value improvement because they are residual claimants and to spend redistributionally because they are partly or totally out of the money under absolute priority. A good bankruptcy cost allocation scheme thus should induce the seniors to spend more and the juniors to spend less. We show: (i) The current US cost allocation system is unsatisfactory because the scheme partially reimburses junior expenses on experts but does not reimburse seniors at all; (ii) Full reimbursement scheme
|Date of creation:||01 May 2003|
|Date of revision:||01 Sep 2004|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/|
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Welch, Ivo, 1997. "Why Is Bank Debt Senior? A Theory of Asymmetry and Claim Priority Based on Influence Costs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 1203-1236.
- Altman, Edward I, 1984. " A Further Empirical Investigation of the Bankruptcy Cost Question," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1067-1089, September.
- Warner, Jerold B, 1977. "Bankruptcy Costs: Some Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 337-347, May.
- Weiss, Lawrence A., 1990. "Bankruptcy resolution: Direct costs and violation of priority of claims," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 285-314, October.
- Povel, Paul, 1999.
"Optimal "Soft" or "Tough" Bankruptcy Procedures,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 659-684, October.
- Povel, Paul, 1999. "Optimal "Soft" or "Tough" Bankruptcy Procedures," Papers 98-31, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
- Ang, James S & Chua, Jess H & McConnell, John J, 1982. " The Administrative Costs of Corporate Bankruptcy: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 219-226, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm365. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.