How Southern-Style Bankruptcy Is Ruining Black Debtors
They’re getting it on both ends. Low-income debtors can use Chapter 7 federal bankruptcy, which liquidates any large assets like houses or cars, to obtain quick and lasting protection from creditors. But a new examination of bankruptcies shows that in southeastern states, attorneys often steer Black clients toward “no money down” Chapter 13 filings. While that protects even cars and houses, it’s often temporary, meaning added interest before a new debt spiral. Some have asked Congress to change the law to encourage Chapter 7 filings, which experts say would provide more effective relief.