How the Bankruptcy System Is Failing Black Americans - ProPublica

According to an analysis of consumer bankruptcy filings nationwide, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee stood out, both for the stunning number of cases in which debtors were unable to get relief and for the reasons why, according to a ProPublica commentary yesterday...  Nationally, the odds of black debtors choosing chapter 13 instead of chapter 7 were more than twice as high as for white debtors with a similar financial profile. And once they chose chapter 13, the study found, the odds of their cases ending in dismissal — with no relief from their debts — were about 50 percent higher. Meanwhile, the $0-down style of chapter 13 bankruptcy practiced in Memphis, long common across the South, is quietly growing in popularity elsewhere. Chicago in particular has seen an explosion of chapter 13 filings in recent years. A recent study found that the “no money down” model is becoming more prevalent, prompting concerns that it is snaring increasing numbers of unsuspecting debtors and ultimately keeping them in debt.

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