Studies Show Black Americans Face Discrimination When Filing for Bankruptcy

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According to the NYTimes A new study shows that black people are twice as likely to end up in the tougher and more expensive form of bankruptcy than whites even if they have the same financial profile.

“I don’t think there is any overt conspiracy,” says a co-author of why far more black people get steered into Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7. “But when you have a complex system, these biases can play out and the people within the system don’t see the pattern because nobody is in charge of looking at these big issues.”

Here’s one reason why….Chapter 13 fees are higher but can be paid back over years, while Chapter 7 generally requires a lump sump upfront. Lawyers who don’t think black clients have the money for the lump sum may push them toward Chapter 13 even if it’s not the best choice.



3 Comment

  1. Very true. I was told that I had to file Chapter 13 to repay some of the debt before I could file 7. I ended up paying almost $2000 before I paid another $1500 just to convert the case. Pure BS

  2. By the way, when I asked repeatedly to convert my bankrutcy case from 13 to 7 before it was finally filed, I was denied and my 'attorney' told me that it could not be converted because their firm 'has not made any money yet'

  3. Your attorney was incorrect and his answer approaches the threshold of "malpractice". You may convert from a chapter 13 to a 7 at anytime during the proceeding, but prior to discharge. But the primary determination comes from where you fall in "the financial means test".

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