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Bob Lawless
University of Illinois
I'm a college professor with 3 kids.
Recent Activity
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.
Forecasting U.S. bankruptcy filings for this year was a little more complicated. In a comment to my post about the total 2015 bankruptcy filings, Erich Fabricius made the astute observation that December 2016 saw the introduction of new bankruptcy forms... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Credit Slips
That is a great point, Erich. It is entirely possible December's statistical blip is from the new forms. As far as levelling out, I think December would still have been a decline but just not as big of a decline. If the form implementation is the reason, however, then some bankruptcies from December should be shifted into the new year.
According to the latest figures from Epiq Systems, total U.S. bankruptcy filings dropped 10% in 2015. The yearly total was 819,240 compared to 910,090 the previous year. As bankruptcy experts know, these figures are low. In 2015, there were 2.55... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2016 at Credit Slips
Quite a few Credit Slips bloggers and former guests are panelists at the session the Debtor-Creditor Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) meeting.The session is entitled, "Bankruptcy for the Ninety-Five Percent: Making the System Work for Small... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2016 at Credit Slips
Credit Slips blogger Pamela Foohey has a new article on SSRN, "Lender Discrimination, Black Churches, and Bankruptcy." This paper builds on her previous work about churches in bankruptcy to dig into the demographics of which churches end up in bankruptcy... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2015 at Credit Slips
The ABA Journal has named Credit Slips to its annual Blawg 100. Thanks for the recognition! We really appreciate it. It is a list of great blogs, and we are honored to be included on it. And, thanks to our... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2015 at Credit Slips
On the consumer side, David, I have written a lot about this on the blog. Look under the "Bankruptcy Data" category. There are lots of theories about the ups and downs of consumer filing rate, but it consistently follows the amount of outstanding consumer debt. Full stop. It also does it unintuitive ways, namely that expansions of consumer credit in the short term drive down filing rates as consumers can use credit to ease a household liquidity crunch. In the long run, as consumer debt piles up on household balance sheets, the bankruptcy filing rate will have to go up. I do agree that making student loans dischargeable likely would result in a spike in the filing rate. Household balance sheets have been shedding dischargeable debt, and the biggest growth in consumer debt is in nondischargeable student loan debt.
Bernie Trujillo emailed me from Valparaiso University with the news that the Indiana bar examiners have added some bankruptcy law to the state bar exam. Specifically and effective February 2018, the Indiana bar exam will include "Indiana debt collection, including... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Credit Slips
Frequent readers of the blog will know that David Lander has guest blogged for us several times. When he was last with us, David left with four topics he wanted to discuss further. When David wrote and said he had... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Credit Slips
Writing about a book about the Bankruptcy Code? That, Adam, would be a sign that one's life has completely degraded, and it is time to look for another line of work.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2015 on How Do You C It? at Credit Slips
A friend tells me the WSJ has joined the side of light and truth on this issue:
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2015 on How Do You C It? at Credit Slips
One of the great challenges to the bankruptcy system if not to the American way of life is those who insist on capitalizing the letter c when discussing chapters of the Bankruptcy Code. If it is "section 1129," as the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2015 at Credit Slips
My blogging has been light the past few months as we have been working on the eighth edition of what will now be LoPucki, Warren & Lawless, Secured Transactions: A Systems Approach. For you secured transactions teachers out there, we... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at Credit Slips
Today is the ninth anniversary of Credit Slips, which means we are now old enough for the fourth grade. Thanks for reading and for your support. The year we started, 2006, seems so long ago. The W was in the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2015 at Credit Slips
Credit Slips blogger, Anna Gelpern, was on the Diane Rehm Show this morning discussing the financial problems in Puerto Rico and Greece. Gelpern of Georgetown University was joined by Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal and Matthias Matthjis of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Credit Slips
Knute Rife -- I checked the spam folder and I did not see any comments from you. If you keep having problems, let me know.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2015 on Is There a Student Loan Debt Crisis? at Credit Slips
First and most importantly, I think you owe me a scotch. I had said I would buy dinner if the debtor won. Don't worry, it will be very good scotch. But, you have learned a valuable lesson of not betting with your heart. My years in Las Vegas taught me something. I agree it is too negative a view. We need to remember that the Supreme Court bankruptcy opinions often make things worse. This one did not make anything worse, and that is a small victory in some way. Think of the paean in Stern v. Marshall to Article III courts being bulwarks of liberty. It is not far-fetched to imagine a different opinion that would have waxed eloquent about the sacred status of liens. We avoided that result. As to stare decisis, I think it is impossible to say what might have happened had the debtor argued to overrule Dewsnup. To steal an expression from a friend of mine, this was not their first rodeo. If the justice wanted to overrule Dewsnup, they would have done so.
My best email of the day will be Professor Jay Westbrook's email saying he will join our mostly merry band of bloggers on a permanent basis. Westbrook has been guest blogging with us for a few weeks. Thanks to our... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Credit Slips
That is an amazing milestone. Thank you everyone for your interest in what we have to say here. If you want to follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our Facebook page, there are buttons on the right-side of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Credit Slips
Wait a second. There is no recliner? I have been misled. Thank you, Melissa, for the undeserved kind words. By the way, there were seven of us who founded Credit Slips, and you were one of them.
A comic strip for the Credit Slips crowd from Stephan Pastis: Pearls Before Swine Comic Strip, March 06, 2015 on Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at Credit Slips
Thanks to Epiq Systems, the latest monthly bankruptcy figures are out, and they show a 10.1% year-over-year decline. We now have had 52 straight months of year-over-year declines in the U.S. bankruptcy filing rate. The graph to the right shows... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at Credit Slips