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(Yet Another) Chapter 13 Map

posted by Bob Lawless

Chapter 13 Percentages by DistrictThis post will have to be short on commentary -- "yay!," goes the reader -- as I am in the middle of getting ready for a conference. One of the things that preparation entailed is putting together the map to the right. To see the map well, you will need to click on it and a bring up a full-size image in a pop-up box.

The map shows the percentage of all 2013 bankruptcy cases that were chapter 13s in the 90 federal judicial districts in the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Over the years, I have put up numerous maps and tables about chapter 13 rates. This map shows the same patterns we have seen in the past in terms of both the range of variation and geographic concentrations of high chapter 13 districts. This version is different because it (a) uses 2013 data (through November) and (b) has groupings based on a cluster analysis. (A cluster analysis finds "natural" groupings of data based on the data's statistical properties.)

If anyone else has a use for the map, feel welcome. All I ask is attribution back to this post.


Bob, is there any academic research as to why the variation in Ch. 13 share? Why is it all clustered in the South? Thanks.

We published a study which was covered here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/business/blacks-face-bias-in-bankruptcy-study-suggests.html?pagewanted=all, which does not get at the regional variation per se but does offer some insights on chapter 13 choice.

Chapter 13 started in Birmingham, Alabama, but that does not necessarily explain the persistence of the pattern today or even why it might have started in that place.

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