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Bob Lawless
University of Illinois
I'm a college professor with 3 kids.
Recent Activity
As careful Credit Slips readers will remember, I was inflicted on the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy as the Commission's reporter. Things are off to a roaring start. Taking the suggestions of many different stakeholders in the consumer... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Credit Slips
A few weeks ago, Adam did a great post about the CFPB's new arbitration rule, analyzing whether we would get a veto from the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). My own, much more modest effort, explaining the arbitration rule for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Credit Slips
The Gilbert Index blog was kind enough to feature Credit Slips in a Q&A. For those of you who are interested in how Credit Slips came about, check it out. Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Credit Slips
Mr. Rebein, I don't believe most medical debt would be in the Federal Reserve's data. But, if medical debt is on a credit card, it would be. Also, to the extent people need to borrow to pay for living expenses because they are servicing medical debt, that would show up. The causal chain here is tricky. But, I think it is patently false that Obamacare alone has slashed bankruptcy filings by half. There is some research to suggest that Obamacare has driven down bankruptcy rates, but there is no evidence to suggest the entire drop in bankruptcy filings is due to Obamacare. Correlation is not causation. Paul Ryan's campaign complained about Obama because bankruptcies had gone up in his first term: http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2012/09/paul-ryans-bullshit-about-bankruptcy-data.html.
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Yesterday, I noted the U.S. bankruptcy filing rate of 2.38 per 1,000 persons is at historic lows. The next question is always why. In this post, I am going to try to walk through an explanation in four graphs. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Credit Slips
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Using data from Epiq Systems, we appear to be on track for 774,000 bankruptcy filings for the 2017 calendar year. That would basically be the same rate of filings as in 2016 when total filings were just under 772,000. This... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at Credit Slips
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The number eleven has a lot of significance in the bankruptcy world. The Bankruptcy Code is, of course, title 11 of the United States Code. There is chapter 11. And, within chapter 11, one can make the eleven-eleven election under... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at Credit Slips
As Jason Kilborn noted last month, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) has formed a Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. More information about the Commission is available on its web site including the unfortunate news that it got saddled with me as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at Credit Slips
An important opinion by one of our most knowledgeable bankruptcy judges, Judge Bernstein in Manhattan, may have reached the right result by the wrong path in deciding if a foreign debtor’s Chapter 7 trustee can avoid a foreign transfer to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2017 at Credit Slips
From the always wonderful Pearls Before Swine, some humor for the secured lending crowd. Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2017 at Credit Slips
It is with incredibly mixed feelings that I pass along to our readers that Professor Katie Porter is leaving our blog. Katie was one of the original bloggers on Credit Slips back in 2006. There were a number of us... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at Credit Slips
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Thanks a tweet to the sharp-eyed Drew Dawson at the University of Miami, I saw this article in Politico that among the surprises in Trump's budget is an increase in bankruptcy filing fees (see item 5). Well, this seemed important... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2017 at Credit Slips
Matthew, you are correct that our racial identifier is black/African-American. Our findings are generalized to anyone who would validate that selection. To the extent the hypothesis is that these are are two distinct group, lumping them together would have made it less likely we would have had the results we did. In the "Race, Attorney Influence, and Chapter Choice," the hypothesis would not explain the findings from the attorney vignette where attorneys reacted differently to "Reggie & Latisha" as opposed to "Todd & Allison." Btw, we use the same racial identifiers on the CBP as the U.S. Census.
The Second Circuit currently has a pending case (Anderson v. Credit One Bank, No. 16-2496) that raises the question of whether an alleged violation of the bankruptcy discharge injunction is subject to a predispute arbitration agreement. Professors Ralph Brubaker and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at Credit Slips
My priors on any reversal of a bankruptcy court by an Article III court is that it is more likely the Article III court got it "wrong." We see this with most any specialized tribunal and is the price we have to pay for appellate review. My guess is that what you are seeing are district courts getting reversed as there are not that many direct appeals. Also, was there any information about how often BAPs are reversing bankruptcy courts? It would be telling if that had stayed the same.
Yep, absolutely, Gabriela. Good idea.
Then, you won't like this: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/15/us/politics/you-draw-obama-legacy.html. It's actually pretty cool. I had just been looking at the unemployment figures for this post so I nailed that one. The rest, not so much.
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According to Epiq Systems, there were 771, 894 total U.S. bankruptcy filings in 2016, a decline of 5.8% from 2015. The overall annual decline in 2015 was 10.0% and was 11.8% in 2014. As I noted yesterday, the rate of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at Credit Slips
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Something happened in the U.S. bankruptcy courts that had not happened since October 2010. The daily filing rate increased on a year-over-year basis. There were 56,394 filings in December 2016 as compared to 53,844 in the previous December. Also, because... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at Credit Slips
Interesting, indeed, Adam. The issue of whether the mechanic's lien attaches to the underlying property is a long-running dispute. Most jurisdictions, including D.C., hold it does not. In D.C., a mechanic's lien could attach if the work was authorized by the owner's agent, but there are some old D.C. cases expressly holding that a being a lessee by itself does not make the lessee an agent of the landlord for purposes of the D.C. mechanic's lien law. Then, there is the question of whether the lien can attach to a lease of public property, as you point out. I suspect the real value of the lien is the problems it can cause for other contractual relationships (e.g, the WaPo article says the lease requires any mechanic's lien to be discharged within 30 days). Until it is cleared, it will be a charge against the leasehold interest. To file the mechanic's lien, the contractors had to submit a sworn, notarized statement submitted under penalties of perjury that they have a right to recover the amounts claimed. D.C. Code § 40-301.02. This is a little bit more rigorous evidence than we have had, not that the many reports of Trump stiffing the people with whom he does business left little doubt it happens.
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2017 on Trump Post Office Mechanic's Liens at Credit Slips
In October, a panel at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges explored the role of race and implicit bias in the bankruptcy system. Called "The Color of Money: The Implications of Race and Ethnicity in Addressing Debt," the panel included... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2016 at Credit Slips
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Credit Slips is honored to have been selected as part of the ABA Journal's Blawg 100, their annual list of the top 100 blogs about law and lawyering. It is our second year in a row for inclusion on the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at Credit Slips
My hypothesis would be the same for many "causes" of bankruptcy. People who file often have many things happening in their lives that lead them to bankruptcy court. It is often hard to say that any one thing is the cause. Pyramid schemes are likely a contributor in the spiral of some into a bankruptcy filing.
Adam, I agree with a lot of your general comments. I have not read this specific paper and don't take a position on that either way. What I like to say is that legal scholars tend to have fine-grained knowledge of institutions that helps to ensure reliability and validity in empirical studies. Of course, as Jay points out, it can cut the other way. The other thing to which I wanted to react was the notion of having a collaborator. Yes. It is good practice to have collaborators period. I have never understood the legal academy's reluctance to embrace scholarly collaboration. In most other fields, working alone is generally a sign that no one will work with you. There should be more collaboration across all forms of legal scholarship.
This is a wonderful tribute, Katie. To my regret, I did not know Alan as well as some of the other Credit Slips bloggers. When we did interact, he was unfailingly welcoming and kind. As Katie and Melissa already have commented, Alan had an outstanding grasp of all elements of the bankruptcy system. When Alan spoke (or wrote), it was always something to which to pay attention. I will miss Alan and his many contributions to our scholarly community.
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2016 on Remembering Alan Resnick at Credit Slips