The Types of Chapter 11 Cases
American Bankruptcy Law Journal, Vol. 84, 2010
22 Pages Posted: 8 May 2008 Last revised: 2 Apr 2010
Date Written: May 2, 2008
Bankruptcy scholars like to divide chapter 11 cases into piles. Big cases compared with small cases. Public company debtors compared with private companies. Cases greater than or less than a specified asset size. But much of this dividing happens with little more than hunch to support it, and sometimes the division is never discussed but only implied. In this short paper I look at a new dataset of almost one thousand chapter 11 cases that were filed in 2004. I find three distinct kinds of chapter 11 cases, but also find that the very biggest cases are not as different in result as their extra cost might suggest. I ultimately argue that very large cases would benefit from codification of many of the administrative procedures that are now routinely implemented by way of pleading, as doing so would reduce the direct costs of these cases.
Substantial revision posted on April 27, 2009.
Keywords: Chapter 11, bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, direct costs
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