The Types of Chapter 11 Cases

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

Suggested Citation

Lubben, Stephen J., The Types of Chapter 11 Cases (May 2, 2008). American Bankruptcy Law Journal, Vol. 84, 2010, Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 1128209, 3rd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Papers, Available at SSRN:

Stephen J. Lubben (Contact Author)

Seton Hall Law School ( email )

One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States
973-642-8857 (Phone)

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