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The Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study

posted by Lois R. Lupica

Thanks to Katie and my friends at Credit Slips for the guest blogging gig.  I appreciate the invitation and the opportunity.

In my next couple of posts, I am going to report on the Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study (see Katie's post below).  Today, I'm making a pitch to the consumer debtor's attorneys who have received (or will receive) an invitation to participate in a survey about their consumer bankruptcy practices.  To date, the Consumer Debtor Attorney Fee Survey has been distributed to ~400 lawyers who represent consumer debtors.  I expect to send out a couple of additional "waves" in the next weeks.  As I said in my cover note,

BAPCPA was enacted in the absence of data predicting or explaining its impact on attorneys, debtors, and on the practice of consumer bankruptcy law... The results of the study, including this survey, will be used to inform law and policy makers about which BAPCPA provisions have been working well -- and which BAPCPA provisions have not.  The study's central focus is on attorney compensation. 

Because consumer bankruptcy practice implicates so many issues, and there is so much information to gather and consider, the survey is long -- it will take about 45 minutes to complete.  There will be additional surveys distributed to Chapter 7 Trustees, Standing Chapter 13 Trustees, and Bankruptcy Judges in the next months. The more attorneys, trustees and judges who participate in the survey, the better data we will have. So consider this a plea.   

The Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study will analyze three original data sets: (i) a quantitative data set, extracted from a national random sample of ~10,000 consumer bankruptcy cases, (ii) a qualitative data set that has emerged from ~100 interviews of bankruptcy professionals, including consumer debtors' counsel, Chapter 7 Trustees, Chapter 13 Trustees, U.S. Trustees/Bankruptcy Administrators, and Bankruptcy Judges, and (iii) a qualitative/quantitative data set derived from four survey instruments.  The results of this study (projected to be finalized in December 2011) will provide much needed data about how the consumer bankruptcy system is working, and the impact of BAPCPA on debtor access to the system.

Note:  The Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study is funded by the Anthony H.N. Schnelling Endowment of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Endowment for Education.  In funding this research, neither the ABI nor the NCBJ Endowment endorses or expresses any opinion with respect to any conclusions, opinions or reports of any research funded.


"see Katie's post below" (would be useful if it were linked)

This study is very interesting. When someone declares consumer bankruptcy, he files a petition with the court to discharge his debts. His property is sold in order to meet some of his debt obligation.

Can't wait for the results to report on them.

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