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Jason Kilborn
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This is a terrific paper. I commented on it as a "senior commentator" at a recent junior faculty conference here in Chicago, and I was surprised at the degree to which I found the constitutional and historical insights fascinating. Christine is a talented researcher and writer, and she has discovered the most intriguing historical coincidence here--check it out!
Congrats likewise to Brook Gotberg at the University of Missouri, Columbia, another bankruptcy scholar on the 2019 list!
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2019 on Congratulations to Pamela Foohey! at Credit Slips
Two aspects of the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 intrigued me as I looked more closely at this important new twist on Chapter 11 for the other 99%. First, I thought the new SBRA procedure might be a fairly... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2019 at Credit Slips
Several recent stories remind us that many, many ordinary people around the world continue to struggle with crushing debt with no access to legal relief, and when relief is introduced, it is vehemently opposed by lenders and often limited to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2019 at Credit Slips
Hi, John! Since I received the paper books in the mail this morning, I assume you can order direct from CAP right away (though I don't think they have a facility to take orders online, only via email, fax, or phone). I assume they'll be on Amazon, etc., in short order, too.
I excitedly tore into a small box this morning containing the first printing of my new book, Eyes on the Prize: Procedures and Strategies for Collecting Money Judgments and Shielding Assets (Carolina Academic Press 2019). Since the advent of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2019 at Credit Slips
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals this week released its opinion in In re Fulton, the highly anticipated consolidated appeal of four Chapter 13 cases involving debtors whose cars had been impounded. The City of Chicago had refused to release... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2019 at Credit Slips
USA Today just came out with an interesting expose about reverse mortgages and their negative impact, especially in low-income, African American, urban neighborhoods (highlighting a few in my backyard here in Chicago). I have long been interested in reverse mortgages,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2019 at Credit Slips
I've just returned from a really fantastic conference, the entire recorded proceedings of which are available online and might be of interest to Credit Slips readers. The St. Petersburg International Legal Forum takes place annually in the marvelous city of... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Credit Slips
I hope I'm not stepping on Bob's toes in announcing the public release of the long-awaited report of the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. The Commission, with Credit Slips' own inimitable Bob Lawless as its reporter, was formed in December... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at Credit Slips
I've come across a phenomenon numerous t... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at Credit Slips
Effective reform requires detailed knowledge of exactly what's being reformed. This is especially true of complex systems like corporate and individual insolvency regimes, with numerous inputs and outputs and carefully counterbalanced policy objectives. Two recent papers accentuate an acute weakness... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2019 at Credit Slips
On the heels of oral arguments in the latest Supreme Court case concerning application of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to lawyers, ABA President Bob Carlson has a comment in Bloomberg Law today {subscription maybe required} explaining succinctly why... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2019 at Credit Slips
If you're wondering what to do with your New Year's downtime, you might consider submitting a paper proposal for an International & Comparative Insolvency Law Symposium, this year to be held at the beautiful University of Miami (in Coral Gables)... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2018 at Credit Slips
What is it like to be desperately insolvent with no access to a relief system like the bankruptcy discharge? Many, many people are likely to find out in the coming months in China and India in light of recent developments... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2018 at Credit Slips
At long last, the World Bank Group's insolvency and debt resolution team has finally released to the public its report on the treatment of the insolvency of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, Saving Entrepreneurs, Saving Enterprises : Proposals on the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2018 at Credit Slips
It seems fairly clear that, if Trump's latest nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is sworn in, the Court's trend of resolving virtually all statutory disputes on the basis of "plain meaning" will be cemented in place. An analysis... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2018 at Credit Slips
Agreed, Chuck! Partisans often gravitate toward extremes in both directions. Full stop. Now the but ... If BAPCPA had been implemented as planned, for example following Chuck Grassley's insistence on every single consumer debtor filling out the entirety of the means test forms, the effect would have been more devastating. As I think Angie Littwin (and probably others) pointed out, moderate policy decisions by the US Trustee and courts have powerfully mitigated the ill effects of BAPCPA, for example allowing 90% of filers to avoid the means test's step two expense analysis after reporting below-median income. And as Lois Lupica's and others' work has shown, many consumer debtors have been priced out of bankruptcy by BAPCPA's formality-fest. Not the end of consumer bankruptcy writ large, but the end for many honest and unfortunate debtors. But again, good point on the "good for the goose, good for the gander" comment. Thanks!
As anyone familiar with bankruptcy would have predicted, the dire predictions of disaster for municipalities seeking bankruptcy protection have proven to be ... let's just say exaggerated. Bloomberg is out with a notable story this morning on Jefferson County's healthy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at Credit Slips
Points well taken, Bob, but the crazy thing is that this is both a moving and a scattershot target. Asking about how "Chinese people" feel about debt relief (or petty graft, or honesty, ...) is like asking what the Congressional intent behind a statute was--it was the lowest common denominator among a huge cacophony of competing feelings. Even in the US the feelings you've mentioned are clearly present among both members of the public and Congress--recall the rant on the Chicago Board of Trade floor by the commentator angry about writing down mortgage balances a few years back. I've focused on the moving target part, since these attitudes have changed dramatically over time in such varying places as Denmark, France and the Netherlands on the one hand, to places like Russia, Slovakia, Poland, etc., etc., on the other. In Russia, a country that epitomizes anon's petty-graft-is-the-norm attitude, legislators finally swept aside both fear of abuse and petty jealousies to enact a relief statute that rivals the US in terms of openness, but it took until 2015 to get past the "this could never work in our corruption-infested country" sentiment. Legislators did this based in large part on a cold intellectualization of the issue--is this better for us in the long run than not having it, as Greg suggests. Where personal insolvency has succeeded, cold reasoning seems to have won the day; where it has not, irrational emotional resistance has been to blame. I'm left struggling to either formulate compelling intellectual arguments or to structure an empirical study that can actually demonstrate something robust and useful. I think I just have to accept Joseph Spooner's conclusion that we just have to wait until the golden moment when the political stars align with a sensitive policymaker taking the reigns. Keeping up the drumbeat of counter-commentary is useful, though, especially marshaling evidence that "everybody's doing it"--another powerful heuristic.
Thanks, Greg! I've generally taken the approach you suggest in trying to make more vivid the costs of Type 2 under-treatment, or at least point out that other legislators (particularly in Europe) have concentrated on the many negative consequences to creditors, debtors, and society of such under-treatment. This discussion appears in a long introductory section of the World Bank's Report on the Treatment of the Insolvency of Natural Persons, which I urged attendees at a conference in Beijing this past Friday to read with care--even if quantification is elusive, as you say, I hope it helps policymakers to feel the costs of doing nothing (or at least not enough) in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Your comment dovetails nicely with anon's, as I fully well appreciate that honesty is measured and valued differently in different cultures and regions. If Type 2 under-treatment is hard to quantify, so too is Type 1 over-treatment; that is, giving relief to scoundrels. How much "dishonesty" is a real problem, beyond a societal tolerance level? In the parole context, violent crime is a real, palpable cost of Type 1 errors; in the personal insolvency context, a few creditors losing the right to pursue their likely practically uncollectible claims ... not so much, it seems to me. But I admit that it seems to ME that way, and I am sensitive to the fact that some people are very bothered by ill-gotten gains. Even more than parole, I think tax evasion is a useful parallel context. How much are we willing to spend to collect all the tax that's due--and how much cheating are we willing to accept (implicitly) by not funding an IRS to the hilt? It's all about trade-offs, and I will continue to struggle to express the costs of doing nothing and allowing Type 2 under-inclusion to be the status quo (as compared with allowing Type 1 errors of cheaters keeping their tax money to be the status quo in the tax system!).
Over the past few weeks, at conferences with judges and policymakers in Varna (Bulgaria), Seoul, and Beijing, I've been confronted with a surprising degree of skepticism about personal insolvency systems and fear of opportunistic individuals abusing the ability to evade... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2018 at Credit Slips
Leiden University in the Netherlands has established an impressive strength in insolvency law studies. For example, following his retirement, the eminent Bob Wessels left his massive collection of literature on the subject to a foundation, which permanently lent the collection... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2018 at Credit Slips
It's not federal legislators I had in mind, but states, who have forbidden the use of credit reports in such contexts as hiring, and the notion that US regulators are still allowing data like medical records to influence credit scores makes me not more comfortable with the Chinese plan, but even less comfortable with the US approach. I find it terrifying that more and more instances of correlation-causation confusion are being foisted on the lending and consuming public in the guise of supposedly reliable big data crunching. That my credit score should be impacted by what I search for in Google is ... deeply disturbing. That this phenomenon is not limited to China again makes me feel worse, not better. But again, it's the attitude signal I'm looking for here. That national regulators, rather than private lenders, are planning such aggressive use of this sort of data, and that the resulting score will be used not in lending decisions, but in the provision of basic human services, is again deeply disturbing. That a society (governing authority) is so willing to capitulate to a computer-generated message that so-and-so is a deadbeat, rather than so-and-so having been the possible victim of global economic volatility is the problem I'm concerned with here. If that contagion is spreading, even more cause for concern.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2018 on Orwellian Debt Collection in China at Credit Slips
Matthew, the system is far more than a measure of (financial) creditworthiness. The plan is apparently to aggregate data including things like search engine query histories (!), social media postings (including those about someone, not only by that person), online purchasing habits (i.e., the things one purchases, not simply whether one pays for them), whether one visits one's parents regularly enough, and who one's friends are. I would hope that it would be uncontroversial that most of this has little to do with (financial) creditworthiness, and who my friends are and what I'm searching for online have absolutely nothing fairly to do with my creditworthiness. More troubling, the score generated from this data is to be used in non-financial contexts, like speeding processing of housing applications and work promotions, and perhaps job applications--a context where US (state) regulators have wisely forbidden consideration of irrelevant "creditworthiness" data. This seems to be a Big Brother monitoring system expressly designed to reward virtuousness and punish what system architects regard as signs of vice, all with precious little if any transparency about the data or its use. While credit scoring in the US is far from perfect, the Social Credit System takes it to an entirely new level in every way.
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2018 on Orwellian Debt Collection in China at Credit Slips