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Bob Lawless
University of Illinois
I'm a college professor with 3 kids.
Recent Activity
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
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: 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.
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
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
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
Today is the tenth anniversary of the launch of Credit Slips. We started the blog in the middle of a big research project as an exercise in team building We also thought the blog might be a place where we... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2016 at Credit Slips
Credit Slips blogger Katie Porter has produced a new textbook in consumer law that anyone teaching the subject should consider adopting. Indeed, law professors not teaching consumer law should to take a look at it and consider whether they should... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2016 at Credit Slips
It has been a while since I last checked in on bankruptcy filing rates. The arrival of the latest figures from Epiq Systems was a welcome reminder to do so. We are at the halfway point for the year, and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2016 at Credit Slips
If you happen to be at the 2016 Law & Society Association meetings in New Orleans, stop by the panels from the Collaborative Research Network (CRN) on Household Finance. This group got its start as an international collaborative studying overindebtedness... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at Credit Slips
Recently, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the psychology of other people's indebtedness. I see parallels from this work and the way we think about Puerto Rican government debt. This thinking then tends to stand in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2016 at Credit Slips
To amplify what Ken said, we don't know what the "true" mean is. Maybe the downward slide over the past few years is regression to the mean.
Thanks to both Richard White and Ed Flynn for their comments. November was a relatively high filing month, and December was relatively low. My point was that it would not take a huge shift in filings from December to November to produce that effect, not that the shift was permanent. Ed's numbers show that a shift is exactly what happened, although only partly for the reason I speculated. Statistically, I think it was right to change -- er, "smooth" -- the numbers for November and December to make the forecast more accurate.