A new paper co-authored by Professor Bob Lawless, a bankruptcy expert, provides the first comprehensive overview of bankruptcy filers in more than 30 years, shining a spotlight on the economic stressors faced by U.S. debtors.
“One in 10 adults in the U.S. have turned to the consumer bankruptcy system for help, often after struggling for years to pay their debts,” said Lawless, also the co-director of the Illinois Program on Law, Behavior and Social Science at the College of Law. “Many different types of people file for bankruptcy for a number of different reasons, but we have a bankruptcy law that is too much of a one-size-fits-all solution. We found that there is no typical bankruptcy filer, and the law needs to be adaptive to different situations – particularly to the nine distinct patterns that emerged in our data.”
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