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Columbia Law School

Bankruptcy Law

2010

SSRN

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Saving Up For Bankruptcy, Ronald J. Mann, Katherine M. Porter Jan 2010

Saving Up For Bankruptcy, Ronald J. Mann, Katherine M. Porter

Faculty Scholarship

This paper probes the puzzle of why only a few of those for whom bankruptcy would be economically valuable ever choose to file. We use empirical evidence about the patterns of bankruptcy filings to understand what drives the point in time at which the filings occur, and to generate policy recommendations about how the bankruptcy and debt-collection system sorts those that need relief from those that do not.

The paper combines three kinds of data. First, quantitative data collected from judicial filing records that show the weekly, monthly, and annual patterns of bankruptcy filings. Second, 40 interviews with industry professionals ...