Working Paper

An anatomy of u.s. Personal bankruptcy under chapter 13


Abstract: We build a structural model of Chapter 13 bankruptcy that captures salient features of personal bankruptcy under Chapter 13. We estimate our model using a novel data set we construct from bankruptcy court dockets recorded in Delaware between 2001 and 2002. Our estimation results highlight the importance of debtor?s choice of repayment plan length on Chapter 13 outcomes under the restrictions imposed by the bankruptcy law. We use the estimated model to conduct policy experiments to evaluate the impact of more stringent provisions of Chapter 13 that impose additional restrictions on the length of repayment plans. We find that these provisions would not materially affect creditor recovery rates and would not necessarily make discharge more likely for debtors with income above the state median income.

Keywords: Bankruptcy; Restrictions; Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA); Means Test;

JEL Classification: G33;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2014-10-29

Number: 14-33

Pages: 40 pages