Web posted and Copyright © 1/12/98, American Bankruptcy Institute.

The following abstract summarizes the text of submissions made to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission. The abstract is organized by NBRC working group and topic.

The Final Report of the NBRC can be viewed on-line. To obtain a copy of any document shown below, contact the Center for Legislative Archives, Room 205, National Archives Building, Washington, D.C. 20408. The telephone number is 202/501-5350. Mr. R. Michael McReynolds, Deputy Director, will be able to assist with specific inquiries. (The NBRC documents will be housed at this location until June, 1999. Thereafter, the records will be transferred to the Center's archives in College Park, MD.)

Consumer: Empirical Studies
Problem ReferencedProposed Solutions
David RankinePractitioner - Member NACBA

ABI Survey was only sent to small, narrow category of bankruptcy attorneys involved in business bankruptcies.Survey should also be sent to NACBA members, Ass'n of Chapter 13 members in order to hear from both sides of the consumer bar.
Michael Bork & Susan Tuck - Chapter 13 Dispositions - Working Paper No. 2 AO of Federal Courts
1301 et seq.
Statistics on Ch. 13 cases filoed between 1980 and 1988. Examines termination data for Ch. 13 cases filed between 1980 and 1988.
Leonard M. SalterAuthor and Chairman of the Board of Associate Editors for the "Commercial Law Bulletin"

In this article in the column entitled "Heard and Overheard," the author reports that SMR Research has attributed the increased numbers of consumer bankruptcy filings to state customs and laws affecting different levels of automobile insurance, health insurance and divorce. The article also reports that Professor Elizabeth Warren attributes the rise in bankruptcies to excessive debt load. None.
Patrice WendlingReporter, The Capital Times

In this article entitled "Personal Bankruptcies Surging Upward," the author presents statistics from the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin that indicate that bankruptcy filings in 1996 were up 52 percent from just two years ago. She reports that personal bankruptcies made up the bulk of these filings.None.
Lawrence Chimerine, Ph.D.Managing Director and Chief Economist, Economic Strategy Institute

Author is finalizing portions of his analysis of consumer debt, which he would be pleased to make available. Offers following observations: he wishes to debunk myth that available credit is driving a massive consumer spending binge, which in turn, is driving a huge increase in the overall level of consumer debt, which is primarily responsible for the record number of bankruptcy filings. There has not been a major consumer spending binge, and the level of consumer debt is overstated.No specific proposals. Hopes that comments will help in assessing current level of consumer debt and the financial condition of the household sector in the overall context of the issues before the Commission.
David B. SandorDirector, Public Affairs, VISA U.S.A. Inc.Bankruptcy Petition Study, Visa Consumer Bankruptcy Reports, Executive Summary, April 1997.

Author is forwarding a copy of a Bankruptcy Petition Study Executive Study dated April 1997. The study gives statistics and analysis of bankruptcy filings by VISA members.N/A
Ian DomowitzProfessor, Department of Economics, Northwestern University

Author is responding to a letter written by Dr. Michael Staten of the Purdue Credit Research Center dated May 7, 1997 which contained a critique of author's findings in his report to the NBRC. Author defends his data and research, and questions Dr. Staten's. He also disagrees with Dr. Staten's conclusion that some debtors who currently elect Chapter 7 should be forced into Chapter 13."I side with Professor Whitford, cited above, in saying that we cannot responsibly adopt legislation forcing dbtors into Chapter 13 without first studying failed Chapter 13 plans."
Marianne Culhane and Michaela M. WhiteBoth are Professors of Law, Creighton University, School of Law

"Over the past year, we have been conducting an empirical study of consumer debtors in Chapter 7 cases, with a focus on reaffirmation. We have built a data base which, when finished, will include 1050 cases filed in 1995, in seven different circuits across the nation. We have been teaching bankruptcy courses for a combined total of 28 rears. These experiences give us a basis for commenting on the VISA/Purdue Study by Dr. Michael Staten, as well as come proposals which we understand will be presented to the full Comission at its next meeting in Detroit by the Consumer Working Group.....We believe that the VISA study seriously overstates the repayment capacity of most chapter 7 debtors. Using those overly optimistic figures to push many more debtors into Chapter 13 will not result in more payment to creditors. Instead, it will lead to substantially higher administrative costs, increase the already abysmal failure rate of Chapter 13 plans and further decrease public confidence in the bankruptcy process." In their discussion, authors dispute VISA's figures and conclusion that more people filing chapter 7 could afford to pay more in chapter 13 plans.Do not attempt to force more marginal debtors into chapter 13.
Marianne Culhane and Michaela WhiteProfessors at Creighton University School of LawTable 63 and Table 63a-1

Authors are forwarding revised tables 63 and 63a-1 entitled Can the Debtor Pay in which they attempt to show whether the debtors' scheduled income less some expenses will leave enough to service reaffirmed debt.N/A