Professor Bob Lawless recently spoke to Bloomberg BNA about a new report, "Life in the Sweatbox," that he co-authored for the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. The report demonstrates that debtors are struggling longer with their finances in the years prior to filing for bankruptcy than they have in the past.
"Long strugglers"—people who struggle for more than two years before seeking bankruptcy—are "coming to the law in different ways," report co-author Robert Lawless told Bloomberg Law.
"People are getting sued more frequently by creditors over their debts and once they realize they have a legal and a financial problem, the solution ends up being to file for bankruptcy," said Lawless.
"It's how these people deal with their problems and gain access to the justice system," he said.
The report shows that these debtors would have benefited from filing bankruptcy months or years earlier. The Consumer Bankruptcy Project has been studying various consumer and bankruptcy issues since the 1980s and is funded by the research budgets of the schools involved in the project.
Pamela Foohey, associate professor of law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Katherine M. Porter, professor of law, University of California, Irvine School of Law; and Deborah Thorne, assistant professor of sociology, University of Idaho also co-authored the report that will be published by Notre Dame Law Review in the fall.
Read the full Bloomberg article.