Date of Award:

12-2008

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lucy M. Delgadillo

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the socio-demographic and financial characteristics that were associated with the likelihood of a discharge among Chapter 12 bankruptcy filers in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Previous bankruptcy studies conducted in Utah have looked at the same associations in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. This study contains individual filer-level data from 158 Chapter 12 bankruptcy cases filed in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming between 1997 and 2005. These cases were accessed through the Web-PACER system, a database of imaged court documents filed in district bankruptcy courts. Free access to this system was given by the Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming bankruptcy trustees to the researcher. The principal finding in this study is that filers with longer repayment plans and those that live in the states of Idaho and Wyoming are more likely to attain a discharge. The local legal culture of Idaho and Wyoming may promote plans that are more feasible and the debtors are more likely to reach a discharge. However, debtors in Utah are more likely to reach a discharge in a shorter time than those living in Idaho or Wyoming. Studies have found that debtors who started making payments were more likely to assure that their plans were successful. Discharge is the most common outcome for cases open for a number of years. Debtors who have reached a Chapter 12 confirmation are more likely to continue on a payment schedule and receive a discharge.

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