READ // As We Forgive Our Debtors : Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America


READ // As We Forgive Our Debtors : Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America


Rafael Pardo

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As We Forgive Our Debtors : Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America
Edited by Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, and Jay Lawrence Westbook
Washington, D.C. : Beard Books, c1999
HG3766.S79 1999


From Professor Rafael Pardo:

It is a simple truth that we are a nation of consumers that lives on borrowed money. Not surprisingly, some individuals find themselves with too many debts and an inability to repay them. When this occurs, federal bankruptcy law offers refuge and respite from financial distress in the form of forgiveness of debt. During the past three decades, Professors Teresa Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, and Jay Westbrook have sought to explain what causes individuals to file for bankruptcy through an empirical study known as the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. The first comprehensive report of their findings was published in 1989 in As We Forgive Our Debtors. This path-breaking work has not only prompted a paradigmatic shift in the way that we conceive of consumer bankruptcy and its causes, it has also greatly influenced other scholars to study the bankruptcy system from an empirical perspective, myself included. Such studies are instrumental in understanding who we are as a society: As stated by Bruce Mann, Professor of Law at Harvard University, "Whether a society forgives its debtors and how it bestows or withholds forgiveness are more than matters of economic or legal consequence. They go to the heart of what a society values."

From the Publisher:
This book undertakes a study of bankruptcy with the goal of increasing our understanding of debtors and creditors who end up in bankruptcy court. It does not attempt to study the internal workings of bankruptcy, but instead looks outward to the larger population of bankrupt debtors. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the authors have drawn social and economic portraits of typical debtors against the backdrop of the law and with hard empirical data.

This book was given the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association in 1990.

About the Authors:
Teresa A. Sullivan became Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan on June 1, 2006. She is also Professor of Sociology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Prior to coming to the University of Michigan, Dr. Sullivan was Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Texas System, a position she held from 2002 until May 2006.

A professor of law at Harvard University, Elizabeth Warren is an expert on bankruptcy and an outspoken critic of consumer lenders. She is the author of several books including, most recently, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke.

Jay Lawrence Westbrook is the Benno C. Schmidt Chair of Business Law at the University of Texas.

READ // As We Forgive Our Debtors : Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America

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