Greene investigates why consumer bankruptcy reorganization fails
Under chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy, debtors enter into court-approved plans to repay at least some creditors a portion of the amounts owed over three to five years and homeowners must repay their mortgages in full. But if they fail to meet the requirements of their repayment plans, their remaining debts won’t be forgiven. But as Professor Sara Greene and two co-authors write in “Cracking the Code: An Empirical Analysis of Consumer Bankruptcy Outcomes,” only about one-in-three chapter 13 filers successfully complete their repayment plans. Their goals with their novel study of included illuminating areas of policy and practice that could improve chapter 13 outcomes; addressing systemic access-to-justice issues; and overcoming a pervasive belief that local and regional differences in the way bankruptcy law is applied undercut possibilities for change.