Regulating Bankruptcy Abuse: An Empirical Study of Consumer Exemption Cases
Valparaiso University Law School
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 3, 2006
1st Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper
This Article presents the results of an empirical study of bankruptcy court doctrine in consumer exemptions proceedings over a twenty-year period. The study shows a pattern in which bankruptcy courts adjudicate property exemptions to decrease the value of the discharge for sophisticated debtors and increase the value of the discharge for unsophisticated debtors. The data show that the presence of sophistication reduces a debtor's chance of success in an exemptions proceeding by as much as 78.9%. This pattern of abuse regulation emerged endogenously, without the prompting of hierarchical, exogenous forces such as Congressional or appellate court directives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: bankruptcy, complex systems, self-organization, empirical, exemptions, abuseAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 19, 2006
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