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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1349364
 
 

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The Housing Crisis and Bankruptcy Reform: The Prepackaged Chapter 13 Approach


Eric A. Posner


University of Chicago - Law School

Luigi Zingales


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

February 25, 2009

Chicago Booth School of Business Research Paper No. 09-11
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 459

Abstract:     
The housing crisis threatens to destroy hundreds of billions of dollars of value by causing homeowners with negative equity to walk away from their houses. A house in foreclosure is worth 30 to 50 percent less than a house that a homeowner either retains or sells on the market, and a foreclosed house damages neighboring property values as well. We advocate a reform of Chapter 13 that would allow homeowners to strip down the value of their mortgages in a prepackaged bankruptcy. Such a plan would give homeowners an incentive to keep or resell their homes, thus reducing the market value loss of homes while protecting the effective value of creditors' interests. Two further key elements of the plan are that it uses prices based on the average house price in a particular ZIP code, which reduces moral hazard; and it is automated, requiring only a rubber stamp by a bankruptcy judge or other official, thus preserving judicial resources. Other plans, including that of the Obama administration, are compared.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Housing, banking, chapter 13

JEL Classification: K35, R28

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Date posted: February 25, 2009 ; Last revised: April 15, 2009

Suggested Citation

Posner, Eric A. and Zingales, Luigi, The Housing Crisis and Bankruptcy Reform: The Prepackaged Chapter 13 Approach (February 25, 2009). Chicago Booth School of Business Research Paper No. 09-11; U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 459. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1349364 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1349364

Contact Information

Eric A. Posner
University of Chicago - Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0425 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/posner-e/
Luigi Zingales (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-3196 (Phone)
773-834-2081 (Fax)

Chicago Booth School of Business Logo

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org
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