Is Type of Bankruptcy Filing Decided By Race?
An interesting bankruptcy article was written last week in the New York Times last week which concluded that African Americans file for chapter 13 bankruptcy more often than other races. It is an interesting article, however I can’t say that those statistics reflect what is happening in my bankruptcy practice. I meet with people from all races and backgrounds who have been hit with financial difficulties. I try to offer potential clients all of their options and allow the clients choose what is best for them. Sometimes filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy will make the most sense and other times filing chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best and only option. Other times the debtors may decide that bankruptcy is not an option and they want to seek out a debt settlement program.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be more costly and requires more work and effort on behalf of bankruptcy attorneys because there is a payment plan and usually amendments that need to be made to a bankruptcy plan prior to confirmation of your case. Personally I would rather file chapter 7 bankruptcies all day, however sometimes filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy is the only way to save a home or strip a second mortgage so it may be the best option at the time of filing. I generally will not file a case that I do not believe as a realistic chance of being confirmed by a bankruptcy judge.
It could be that in other parts of the country there is a larger African American population or other biases, but I like to think that here in the northwest people are progressive thinking and the results would be different if the study were limited to this region. It seems based on the quotes and the statistics that the study was based on bankruptcy filing in the south, Georgia and North Carolina in particular which have a larger African American population.